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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    February 4, 2013
    12:00 - 5:00pm EST  

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the first sergeant was a woman, executive officer was a woman, half of the staff ncos were women, pushing 400 troops through every month, and half the troops, the students were women. ..
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>> which completely changed my mind. it just blew me away. it exploded my paradigm, whatever you want to say. it set me back on my heels. so, and that single standard philosophy permeated everything that we did. so whenever the students were
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training, i required the staff to train with them. so, you know, they led by example. so if the students were digging a fighting hole and they were having trouble utilizing the entrenching tool properly, rather than stand and yell at the kid, the staff nco got in and helped them dig the hole. and that philosophy trickled down onto the parade deck for pt. if the students were up on the pull-up bar, then my marines were up on the pull-up bar with them which brought the issue up about flex arm hangs versus pull-ups. because in the marine corps the women train to a standard where they utilize what's called a flex arm hang to measure their upper body strength which is where you pull yourself up above the bar, and you hold your chin above the bar as long as you can. and the minute your chin breaks the plane of the bar, boom, that's it. time's up. we run that through this calculator table, and we get the pft score. whereas the men had to do 20
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pull-ups, it was really simple. so what happened was the first time my women got up on the pull-up bar, it was pretty ugly. i'm not going to lie, it was. [laughter] and i said, look, this is like, you know, i'm not even sure that we should be doing this because this is embarrassing. you know? and the first time it was like, you know, you need to sit down with your ncos, and you need to tell them they need to get into shape. so i sat down with the staff, i said you guys are weak, you need to get in shape, you're hitting the gym every day, and they did. and the women got on the assisted pull-up machine, and they did the same workout that the men were doing to improve their pull-ups. and lo and behold what happened was they got better at pull-ups. and i had women that were knocking out 10 and 11 pull-ups. so i think when we talk about gender-specific standards and we talk about the single standard, it's -- we have to train to that standard, and we have to give people the opportunity to train
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to that standard. i think a lot of this is sort of a cycle going. i'll give you a good example. we used to have officers from other schools come in and ab serve our training -- and observe our training at the school of infantry. so-a captain who would come over from camp johnson, which is where the admin is. so we're on the pt field, and we just got done with a run, and they're, you know, doing their round robin training stations, and there's a pull-up bar. and i had two of my staff ncos, the women, were up on the pull-up bar. and the captain says to me, you know, women are up on the pull-up bar. and i said, yeah, i know, they do pull-ups, they train with the marines, that's the way it works. women can't do pull-ups. [laughter] and we're standing 5 feet away from -- [laughter] and i said they're doing pull-ups. and he goes, they -- no. i mean, really, they can't do like real pull-ups. and i'm like, that's a real pull-up.
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he thinks they're wasting their time because they're not going to be evaluated to do pull-ups. you're wasting their time. and i said, have you ever asked your marines to do a pull-up? and he goes, no. ful i never asked them nothing that they couldn't do. so there's this, there's this perception that women can't do these things or it's not expected of them to do these things, therefore, they're not expected, therefore, they're not in shape to do these things, therefore, they're evaluated on the fact they can't to these things. so it's this sort of self-fulfilling prophesy that commanders set up where there's this revolution of lowered expectations that, you know, that human beings just sort of -- they will rise to whatever, whatever bar you set. and if you set the bar really low, you're not going to get a real high-performing group. so what the policy does in terms of women, i think, in terms of women serving is that it creates an assumption of competence now. so rather than women fighting
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tooth and nail like we were told this morning to be able to go on these missions and, hey, i can do this, and put me in, coach, i want to play and, blah, blah, all these conversations, now there's the assumption that unless a woman can't do it, unless she proves she can't, the assumption is she can, and if she can and she's qualified, then she should serve in that role. so i think that's where, what the policy does. it flips the script on this idea that women can't. and it now becomes everybody should. >> there's, that's an excellent observation, and the discussion of having one standard thereby creating an expectation of success is an excellent point. i'm going to ask you to hold your comments on sexual harassment, and we'll come back to that. i'd like to hear from dr. putko and some of her experiences as well about the culture within the army and the view of the combat exclusion policy. dr. putko, if you could talk a little bit about the survey that you did when you were a student
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at army war college and the findings you had, and as well some of your observations based on your personal experiences about what you saw in combat and how you think that's going to apply to the implementation. thank you. >> okay. well, i'll just start off with my, i guess, exposure to the combat exclusion policy was a lot through my husband who was a combat arms officer and served in pretty much all-male units. and i remember when his all-male unit got their first three female soldiers in the mid '90s when they opened up just a little bit, um, of course, my husband had an active duty wife and two daughters, and he was a battalion xo, and the battalion command orer had a wife who was previously active duty, and they said we're going to get three female soldiers, we have no issues with that. does anyone else have issues? and there were no issues. and i kind of joke, well, what would the issues have been? they burnt the biscuits? like, what type of issues did
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you really expect to have? and if perhaps they fell out of a pt run, it wasn't because they were female, maybe they were an out-of-shape soldier. but there were absolutely no issues. and my experience really with this combat exclusion policy came when i became a battalion commander of a special troops battalion, and that means it's a little bit of an oddball. it's not an engineer or logistics battalion, it's pretty much misfit units, as i would call them, kind of lovingly. and one of the misfit units was a light infantry company of about 120 male soldiers, and it was colded as light infantry. and their mission, the battalion was in germany, and there was a nato formation called allied command mobile forces land, ace mobile. it's a mouthful. and this all-male unit would go every time this nato formation had an exercise, and it would provide security for the multi-national headquarters to access control.
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they were just a bunch of soldiers to go and provide security. and although it was more or less a relationship-building type exercise every time they went, it wasn't designed to be that. it was, actually, a quick reaction force for nato. so it was 2011, excuse me, i'm sorry, 2001, and we all remember september 2001. and this multi-national formation was going on an exercise to turkey in september, and then 9/11 hit, and are we going to go, are we not going to go? is it safe enough? so the infantry company went, and they provided security, and they made, you know, those nato statements; an attack on one is an attack on all. and they came home, and i got a little note because i wasn't allowed to go, it was too dangerous. i got a little note, we had a stripper in turkey. and i just said, oh, this is interesting. what am i supposed to do with this little note? and i basically confided in someone like what would you do with this note? and i really just -- i asked the
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company commander, i said did you have a stripper in turkey? he said, no, we didn't have a stripper in turkey? i said, oh, i got a note. it's just kind of weird, anonymous note. and so about a week went by, and then i got an envelope with a vhs tape on it x it said "turkey" on it. [laughter] okay. i immediately what would you do if you got -- now we don't have vhs tapes, what would you do if you had a disc? i'm going to give this to an investigating officer. so i gave it to an investigating officer who wasn't in that company, and he used to be infantry. and i'm not trying to generalize it, but he got back and said there's nothing on there you need to be concerned with, it's just guys being guys. there's a dancer, there's nothing on there. like, you can put this to let's. and at that point -- to rest. at that point i thought, okay, i can watch the tape, i'm not going to be offended. and i watched the tape, and i'm like, oh, my god. [laughter]
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and i went back to the company commander, and i said why didn't you tell me? well, she didn't take all her clothes off. and i'm like, okay, but that's not what you do when you're leading this unit and you're in a foreign country. it was pitched to them as cultural entertainment. they didn't order the stripper. it was cultural entertainment, and a hundred guys who are confined for a month in exercise. it just got out of hand. and, you know, shame on the company commander. he even got a letter of reprimand for not doing the right thing. i'm going to tell three little stories and then move on. two months later, live-fire exercise. infantry company needs their commander there to certify they're ready to go live. we're going to f-ing go back here, we're going to f-ing move over here. hey, lt, i don't think i'm hearing you. yes, ma'am, we are going to f -- i'm like, come on. like, he didn't get the fact that i was trying to tell him that when you're speaking to your soldiers, like, every sentence doesn't have the f-word in it.
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and then we had this -- i don't know why i got videotapes and notes from these soldiers, but i got a videotape, and one nco videotaped a birthday party in the barracks when the soldier, a senior leader -- not senior like officer, but nco -- hired a prostitute for the soldiers, soldier who was having the birthday, and they videotaped it. okay. and so this soldier eventually got court-martialed, but i'm just saying there's a culture in that unit. i have never in my military career experienced those kind of problems. and it was always, like, what are they going to do next to, like, shock me? and it was just, it was just -- maybe it was just a fluke that they were all male, but they were just very different. and to compile or add to my frustration, as the battalion commander, i needed -- i'm just going to use cooks because we
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can all relate to that. if i needed five cooks in the battalion, i would get five cooks. and if three of them had to go to the infantry company, i couldn't assign a female to that company. it's coded as all-male. the cook is mos, certain moss in our military are 0% female and certain moss are 40 or 50% female. so when i got in five cooks, it could be that three of them were female. and i couldn't assign them there. and sometimes we had dana or leslie or marion, and i think our assignment sheets they had their parents' names, their social security number, their date of birth, and sometimes it didn't even have their gender, male or female, for us to know. and they would call us and say we got a female soldier, and she can't stay. i'm like, okay, okay, we didn't know she was coming, and we fixed it. all these issues with the infantry company kind of fell by the wayside when we all deployed to iraq. and all of a sudden nothing mattered what gender you were.
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we all had these missions to do, and there was not one soldier that i ran into on the battlefield who really could care about your gender. and i, um, was talking to shawna who was at camp virginia. where did you go? i was at camp virginia, and i happened -- in the special troops battalion you get these special missions, so i was the mayor of camp virginia. take those 10,000 people and make sure they all, you know, don't steal the toilet paper, know when the chow line is open. it was our lsa staging area so we could all teenage and go north into iraq when that time came -- stage. and i worked for a one star, and he goes, michelle, lsa anaconda, this was when there were no rule, no contractors, get up there and make sure that's where the corps support command is setting up. don't let anyone else move into that base. >> so, michelle, with those experiences that you had when you were in the -- when you
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deployed away from turkey and you were in combat, you found that gender was much less important? just in the interest of time because i would like to give -- >> i'll stop and i'll say one thing about -- >> yeah. i would like you to talk a little bit about what you found in terms of the understanding of the combat exclusion policy. it may have been that the culture was because of what was actually going on subsequent to 2001. the culture was already changing, and we may have a foundation with some of the issues. >> anyway, fast forward. i got out of iraq and went to the war college, and we did a study, excuse me, we got a woman in combat working group together, and it was engineer, a nurse, a statistician, an mf, an infantryman, and i actually asked my husband who wanted to get an elective, i said could you do a sur or say on attitudes of women in combat, and there was over 200, about 250 respondents to the survey who pretty much said if a female can
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do the job, let her do the job. they didn't have issues on women in combat just like the people in combat really doesn't have issues on women in combat. and the question do you feel like we are violating this combat exclusion policy, it was resoundingly, yes. we're not really paying any attention to it. we are out there doing the mission. and i think someone said in one of the news announcements that this policy change is lock overdue, and -- long overdue, and i couldn't agree more. women have been in combat for decades, but more so in the last decade when we've had p continuous combat. and it's just really good to hear the announcement. >> well, i think and so, you know, the takeaway from that is that the culture is changing. there are issues that dr. o'hanlon discussed that mr. jacob has discussed in terms of the implementation and the standards, but the directive has now been made. we have less than three years to move forward and implement it. and so there may, there is a
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strong base, i think, based on the analysis that you found there at the war college to build on that. um, dr. miller, you have studied women in the military and the combat exing collusion policy. exclusion policy. you've seen it progress over the last 20 years. would you talk a little bit about that and how your view is now, your view is moving forward? >> uh-huh. certainly. so i did start studying this 20 years ago as part of my dissertation research, and part of that work was looking at, of course, the research that had been done before that. and so what i've seen is that the definition of combat keeps changing over time to generally refer to what women are not in, and we've had -- [laughter] first wave after first wave after first wave and pioneer after pioneer after pioneer, and the studies are often focusing on that. so at this point i just wanted to clarify a little bit about the latest state of the definition of combat and what exactly it has meant up until
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this point. so the 1994 policy which was guiding the, um, assignment at this point did not say that women were not permitted to be in the harm's way. it did no prohibit them from coming under fire, it didn't prohibit them from being in dangerous areas, it didn't prohibit them from o -- occasionally edge gauging with the enemy direct fire, killing the enemy on the ground. l what it did say was that women could not be assigned to units whose primary mission was direct ground combat. and it said they couldn't join occupations in which the primary mission is direct ground combat. so it hasn't necessarily been a violation of policy for women to be wounded or to engage the enemy. so what was listed and what was changed was the assignment of women to those units and to those occupations. now, women have been allowed to
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be attached to some of those ground combat units, in the army it would be battalion level or below for those of you familiar with the organizational terms. they've been able to be temporarily attachedded to those units but not permanently assigned. so it means they can be in that area, they can support the unit. and we're talking about women in occupations such as intelligence or information operations or cooks or administrative. if they've been out there on the same operating basis as those units, supporting them, sometimes going out on the cop soys. so this policy says that now women in those occupations which may have a large representation of women in them, their assignments over the course of their career are less restricted. they have more options about where to go and to be officially assigned. it was somewhat of a bureaucratic distinction rather than technically attached to
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those units. um, so there have has been great variation in the interest and the percentage of women located in different occupations. um, i would degree, -- i would agree with mike to hanlon about -- o'hanlon about we shouldn't necessarily expect a large influx of women into those occupations. if we look at heavy labor, male-of dominated occupations in the civilian world where there's been no allow against women serving in those occupations, some of the construction trades, there are many of them we see women 1%, 2%, 4% in those positions. and that can be for a lot of reasons, but it's not been because they were legally denied it. and, in fact, there have been federal incentives for construction companies to hire women. so just looking at the evolution over time, i've found it
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personally very interesting that when i first started studying it in '92 some of the arguments that were raised, some of the hypotheticals, some of the imaginings of what it would be like, um, some of those arguments against women serving in combat units or combat occupations i rarely hear anymore. so some of those were that the american public would not accept females as p.o.w.s or women, their cowers, their mothers, their sisters coming home in body bags. and, you know, over the past daled, i -- over the past decade maybe there was an additional story or two, there's certainly stories highlighting female heroes, but the national resolve or commitment to the war did not fall apart or erode, and it's not even a news story. i mean, actually, continuing casualties is not really on the top of the radar. regardless, let alone women. there were arguments that, you
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know, female casualties would demoralize men, that they'd lose the will to fight, that if they were engaged in something and women were wounded or killed, they would sort of drop or forget the mission to turn to protect the women or to get, you know, even just protect them from harm. there are arguments that we think women are too emotional, they might sort of fall apart or break down or cry if they were in a combat situation. this isn't just the occasional i'm not giving you, like, the occasional, rare argument. this was commonly spoken of this that period. that women tonight have the killer instinct -- don't have the killer instinct. that because women give life, you know, give birth, men have the destructive energy, the destructive force and women might not be able to, you know, pull the trigger. of course, arguments about what about pms, would women be able to act rationally during that period? [laughter] would they be somewhat
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immobilized? how are they going to have supplies in the battle? are they going to have instead of, you know, cartridges in their belt, are they going to have tampons? [laughter] now it seems antiquated. it was the '90s which doesn't feel, i don't feel that old, but -- [laughter] these were common arguments. and sometimes what was guidance got sort of twisted into policies or practices that really sort of undermined the integration of women. for example, in the army there was guidance that, you know, for healthful purposes women should shower every 72 hours. but then i was in a number of units where somehow that was taken as policy x they said women can't be in combat because women must have showers every 72 hours. [laughter] and there are places where i visited where they were doing extended training exercise ands, and every three days they would send a truck out to the field to round up the women, drive them
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back, have them take a shower and then drive them back out. [laughter] and, of course, you could see how were we going to do this in combat. so we have been having integration, you know, longer than i've been studying it. and i think there are some lessons learned in terms of the practical applications of things that it would take for leadership to successfully integrate women in units. we don't have to just imagine it. we have a lot of examples of where that's failed, of where the integration has been very detrimental to the unit, let alone to women's careers and places where leaders have really made it work. so i just wanted to share a few of those examples and some of those challenges. first of all, of course, it's about enforcing the existing standards regarding good order and discipline. some of these themes were touched on earlier. i found in my research that where the leaders do emphasize
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the interdependence of everyone in the unit and build upon their strengths and how each one contributes, that gender integration is more successful than where the male physiology is taken as the standard of the ideal soldier or the ideal marine, and women are just lesser men. and you see this even in the hollywood movies if it's about all-male units, they naturally talk about, you know, here's the really intelligent one, here's the really strong one, here's the charismatic leader. you know, they sort of highlight the diversity of men. but then when you talk about women and men in a unit, it's just sort of a polar, like, men can do it, women can't distinction, and you lose that. so i've found that that where people's strengths are drawn upon and people learn those and draw those out from each other, the gender integration is more successful. um, although we've certainly had
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examples, many examples here of women who are, you know, ted candidated and hard charging -- dedicated and hard charging and courageous and motivated and can stick it out and adapt, there are going to be women who, you know, they're not cut out for it or who try to shirk their duties or maybe even try to use gender-related excuses to get out of behavior. so part of what the leadership can do is make sure that the unit is not attributing those failures to the person's gender. i mean, we -- the same thing occurs for men. for decades, you know, beetle bailey, that's a famous cartoon, right? he's always trying to get out of work and be lazy and, oh, that's cute, and that's funny. so it's about not generalizing to all women the behavior of some individual women. b -- and also, you know, not tolerating it. not saying, well, she fell out of pt because she's a woman, but
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really how do we get this person up to speed. there's some other social dynamics that leadership should be aware of and try to combat, sort of when a new woman arrives in the unit, the sort of males swarming around to figure out will she date me, will she date everyone, can i curse around her, um, can she hack it? and so even maybe attempts to sabotage her equipment or give her twice as much to do or make up things that need to be done that really aren't a part of the unit. quashing rumors. rumor control, you know, did she get here because she slept her way to the top? did she actually meet the standards and graduate, or is she just being pushed through to meet some equal opportunity goal? there's a lot in terms of the climate that the leadership can set, and they can set the tone, and they can actively work on these. but where do they get those
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skills, where do they learn how to do this? so part after what we can do is actually through the pme, through the nco academy, through the officer sessions, education and training is teach men and women how to manage, um, some of the challenges that are going to come up related to gender, related to dating, related to rumors, related to concerns about if i push a woman, am i going to be accused of singling her out and harassing her, or am i then developing her and her skills? we can share the lessons that we've learned to make them more effective at it rather than leave each sort of man and woman to invent it themselves or figure it out themselves or learn through trial and error which we can potentially, um, lose out or wash out in other women. >> good. thank you, dr. miller. very insightful. i think we've heard a good discussion up to this point about the possibility of gender-neutral physical standards and how they would be implemented and enforced.
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the necessary role of leadership, continuing to build on changing the culture. i'd like to allow the, or give the audience an opportunity now to ask some questions. gayle, would you like to ask the first one? >> assuming that physical standards for various jobs are validateed and -- validated, and there are men who are currently eminently qualified who cannot lead them, what happens with those men? as we move forward? >> that's a great question. and i think would anyone on the panel like to have a go at that question? >> can i say something about physical standards? um, a long time ago i had a warehouses where we drove all these supplies with big trucks, and people below 5-7 could not reach the pedals on the trucks. you know, and so we had to go whether they're man or woman, everyone assumes physical standards are always about how
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strong you are. and unless you're an aviator where you have those standards for maybe your eyesight and whether or not you'll fit in the cockpit, there really should be physical standards not just for the combat arms moss, but all moss. you know, what type of flexibility do you need, what type of height or weight? because weight, there's just -- i really think people look at physical standards by how many pull-ups can you do or how fast can you run. >> and i think those are valid points, dr. putko, and i think very valuable. ..
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clearly, you know, sort of a knack crow necessaritic but not really relevant to the mission in question. some are and some are not important. what i saw with the marines, this course was really intense. it was getting people to show they could meet the standards. that is when people are beginning their careers. showing, 10, 20, 30 years in for different kinds of jobs. let's face it not every soldier is about to join the owe olympic team and not every sold needs to.
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that is a. if there are standards they have to be met by whoever if they are real. but i think on the upper body strength question which i think is at the heart of really the dilemma that we've been facing with the women in combat exclusions so far, at least to the extent there is physiological debate, to me the hard question is whether the standards today are generally right but should be a bit more flexible or whether they're exactly right already. i think they're in the right spirit and people should be held to high standards of strength but there may be room for a little more flexibility. i think that's going to be an important debate to have. that is the best i can do, coming back to what i think is the central question for men and women. they have to be able to meet those standards. >> i would just say, some, when you talk about standards and a lot of discussion revolves around physical standards but there are certain occupational standards that don't change.
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i mean the effective casualty rate of a m-67 is 15 meters. you have to throw the 15 meters there are not two standards. otherwise it will blow up in your face and hurt you. there are certain occupational standards that will be looked at and examined that they're just inflexible. it is what it is and my feeling is if you don't meet the standards whether you're a man or a woman you shouldn't have the job. if you do meet the standards whether you're a man or woman conversely you should have the job. >> thank you very much. yes, colonel. you have a question. >> yes. i think we tend to focus the debates on the, on the arguments against women, or the challenges with women. which is important, physical standard and so but i wish we would turn the debate a little and ask the question, how can we unique not to
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have women when we see what these units are doing? my experience, from lebanon, from bosnia, from afghanistan, it is infantry units which i was part of, we were the one to search houses for insurgents. we were the ones to look for explosives hidden within the clothing or whatever, checkpoints and so on. it was the infantry units who had those units. in lebanon we were very much aware of many of them, women were the ones to smuggle but my male colleagues were not allowed to search them. my question in particular, mr. o'hanlon, i understand your suggestion about having women in the special forces but can we allow these units to operate without women? >> that is excellent question and extremely well-put. i think it's compelling, the argument that you made, that units doing these kind of
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operations need to have some women with them. another question becomes, do you, is the best way to do that to have women in the actual infantry platoon? or do you need to have a force structure built in such a way you have other people who are doing the raid with them or doing the search with them. but i think those are the two only two, the scenario you depict is hard to rebut. it is hard to refute. i think it is a pretty compelling argument. so clearly if you're doing some kind of searching of women you need women in your unit to do that. same thing for a house, where you have to go into a bedroom or what have you, for some kid or some girl, what have you. so i think your argument, it us very compelling. whether the best way to handle that is to have the actual infantry platoon be integrated or have the infantry platoon do its patrols with attached supporting units that have woman, i don't know. i don't claim to have that one figured out immediately
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but i'm glad you raised the scenario. >> thank you, dr. o'hanlon. dr. miller did you have a comment. >> the value of their contribution there have been special forces units in afghanistan, who picked up, you know, female translators who are on the same base and taken them with them on missions because of the value of being able to speak to them and, i've also run into a number of situations even before this in which there was a sense that when you want to find out information or you want to build local relations or you want to gather intelligence you talk to the men in the society because they hold the leadership positions. but, you know, women have vested interests. they have information. they may have different priorities. you know, the men are not their proxies for their views and there has been value in having women interact with women, particularly societies where it is prohibited. so that has been recognized
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and that is, you are missing out on that opportunity if you don't, whether you bring them along with the units or you actually have them in the units. >> yes? >> just a quick comment. you know, a lot of the discussion about this has been talking about women having the choice to serve in these units and the thing that drives personnel decisions in the military are the need of the service and i think that's what put this issue where it's at today because clearly the military needs women to do the types of jobs that the colonel is talking about. from a position of combat commander, i would rather have troops organic to my unit than troops attached to my unit. there is simple, we were in, were in bosnia, and had stinger missile crews attached to us. i didn't know-how is stinger missile works. these guys are dragging this thing around. we're supposed to provide security when they employ it. i was squad leader and made
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a 360. they shot the thing in the air and we would go someplace else. that is proper way to deploy the system because i didn't know how they were attached, they were attached to me they didn't know about my unit's sops. before the military deploys you go through a work upperiod where it is a really intense training period where you rehearse some sort of bizarre camouflage theater out on the field remediated actions how you will do the mission, how you do the raids, first squad does, second squad does this, you will do, you do that. you choreograph these things so when you go into the mission it become as muscle memory issue. when the bomb goes off and everybody in my platoon zigs and the attachment zags that is a problem. that is problem fixed and remedy through training that training occurs to folks that are organic to the unit. so that would be -- >> that is good observation. >> your comment is kind of the crux of this issue. does the military plan to allow females to do certain
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jobs because they need females or because it's their basic right as citizens for the united states or human beings that want to serve their country to not be excluded from those jobs? like we don't have enough male mechanics, therefore we'll dip down into females because we have to, we're all out of males? or is it our basic right to be able to do whatever we're qualified to do or not be excluded because of gender? >> i think that's a fascinating question. i would like to take another question from the audience and we'll have to bring it into a closure. please. >> along the lines, i want to thank dr. o'hanlon for framing his concerns in such a respectful manner. if more people could do that we could have a discussion like this instead of an argument. i think you bring up one of the irrational arguments that still exist that you were talking about and i'd like to touch a little bit on this question of whether or not it's worse, the effort that to go in logistically and culturally
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to integrate woman to the added benefit? the other question i would like to hear, my comment on that the added benefit isn't just in the things that women can bring to those units but if you look back through the progress of minorities in history, through sufferage, integrating racially and the difficulties that those, that those steps and progress brought along with them there is really no question whether it was worth that. i wonder how we change the question, instead of just looking, the immense things women do bring, how do we change the discussion is there really an argument that it isn't worth it to further equality, it to have these minor logistical and cultural things to overcome? i want to weigh in on that. >> excellent question. would you like to respond? just in the interests of giving you a chance. >> i will just say, thank you for your comment and i guess since this is our wrap-up, is that all together? in answering that i will
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just say that to me the, the answer to that i think, is that there has to be a pretty high logistical inconvenience for that to be the argument against. so i would, and i will look forward to learning more about this as the services tell us what they're going to have to do. so i, that would be my immediate response. in regard to that though, but also the broader point we had before, there is interesting conundrum to be sure we're not all, i'm sure we have a lot of interesting debates still among us but just to highlight one and not to be all just happy about the new progress forward but to underscore one of the conundrums. if we take the recent comments about this hypothetical, this unit in lebanon or afghanistan or wherever that has to do the search and we decide that we need women. we don't just realize that women could do the job as well as men, we actually need them. then you raise the question, you have to raise the question, how many do you
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need? and can you really generate enough with the current standards? so you may be in a world where you accept the dilemma, at least intellectually going in we may have to do one of several things. we all claim we don't want to do, right? we don't want to lower standards. we don't want to discriminate. we don't want to have forces that are incapable of doing their missionings. okay if all those things are simultaneously true but you don't get enough women to have four in every platoon what do you do, greg? you would prefer to have them in your platoon but if you can't get them in your platoon maybe you have to accept some of them in your attached unit. maybe your prefered scenario is one we aim for. if we don't actually get there and we want a certain percentage of women to do the job and kind find them according to the current standards in adequate number, do we lower the standard or do we use attached units? these are the kind of things we have to think through in the years ahead. the general policy is
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generally correct but a lot things will be hard given where we are. >> related to that you asked about the question that was raised, is it worth it? that is sort of balling cost benefit and the degree to which there will be a cost or amount of time for adjustment all depends on how it is executed. so it can be executed in a way where there is a lot of backlash and downtory productive behaviors and turmoil or it can be executed in a way to make it go rather smoothly. the department of defense has a choice about how to carry it out which will influence how successful it will be, what the costs are and how quickly it can be achieved. >> just to piggyback on that, our organization does a lot of reform work with the dod and. we engage with the uniformed services, civilian leadership, we engage legislators and getting the dod to make a decision is tough but getting the services to implement the decision is even tougher. i talk to people all the
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time, i tell them, like the dod asks the services to make them pasta and the navy makes siti and air force makes lasgna and air force makes mac and cheese. all three are pasta dishes but all are completely different. what we need to go forward, is see how the services implement the changes. would the reports come in on may 15th. what are the units they're asking exceptions for and are their parallels in different services and objections they're raised and different types of things. when we talk about execution that really needs to be where eyes are looking now, really moving away from last wednesday and going forward. >> absolutely. excellent point. michelle, a final comment. i'm sorry, doctor. >> i'm interested in hearing everyone else. i didn't prepare anything in final say. i'm honored and humbled to be sitting at this table and in this room.
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>> thank you. i would like to thank the panel very much for their participation and very insightful thoughts. it will be a challenging period ahead. certainly a lot to think about as we move forward and for repeal of the combat exclusion policy. thank you very much. [applause] >> we were expecting to bring you live coverage of the former first lady laura bush at the komen for the cure women's cancer summit. because of equipment problems we'll bring you her remarks later today on the c-span networks. meantime here is look at the state of the state address from montana. democratic governor steve bullock delivered this update on his state. he spoke for about 40 minutes. [applause]
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>> lieutenant governor walsh, mr. president, mr. speaker, members of the 63rd legislature, governor and mrs. babcock, honored members of the judiciary, my fellow statewide officials, tribal leaders, members of my cabinet, and my fellow mon tannans. lisa, caroline, alex and cameron, my name is steve and i work for the state. [laughter]
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[applause] i like those 12,000 other coworkers arrived at the job site each day it serve the people of montana. it is an honor and a pleasure to be the public servant entrusted with giving this address. any changes of administration naturally will bring changes to the governor's mansion. changes in substance, changes in style, changes in perspective. with the bullocks moving into the neighborhood, some of those changes are unavoidable. you know, it's been 40 years since the predominant noise eminating from the governor's mansion has been the sound of children. children laughing, singing,
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shouting, playing, just being kids. that noise will be a daily reminder for me. and i hope a reminder for each of you as well, of the reason we were sent here. montana voters sent us here to make our children's and our grandchildren's future brighter, more hopeful and more prosperous here in the state of montana. [applause] now, if we're genuine in our concern for our childrens future we'll be as careful with the state's money as we teach our children to be with theirs. if we accept that this is more about their generation than ours we'll enter this building every single day trying to make it so they have have even greater opportunities than each and everyone of us had. if we're truly committed to
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making our childrens future brighter we'll invest in our education system. but before they enter kindergarten to the time they leave higher education we must prepare them to succeed in a 21st century economy. and if we're sincere in our concern for the next generation, how we deal with one another matters. not only during the session but throughout the campaigns that bring us to hold these positions of public trust. every day our kids watch what we do, and every day they learn from us. so members of the 63rd legislature, what i ask of you tonight, it is simple and it's straightforward. first, be responsible with our budget because i won't allow us to spend more than we take in or make cuts that undermined our long-term stability. second, join me in focusing
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on creating jobs, improving our system of education, and making government more effective. and lastly, act in a manner that we're not ashamed to have our children watching because they are. i'm taking these principles to heart and we've already hit the ground running to better create better jobs, better schools and a more effective government. a company recently came to the state of montana and said they would like to locate a manufacturing facility in great falls, but they need ad workforce ready did for the high-tech welding and fitting that they do. these high-paying jobs are exactly the kind we should have here in montana. that's why we have already been working with great falls college. they will begin training workers to fill these jobs and this company is now committed to moving to the electric city. [applause]
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now, as part of a new program we'll also ensure though that students at the high schools in great falls can graduate with a certificates that would make them attractive candidates for this company as well. so not only is that better jobs but it is better education. i pledge also to bring a more effective government to montana and we're look that already as well. tomorrow for the first time ever montana's checkbook will be online. [applause] what we'll have and we'll
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still be improving it but we'll have a database so that anyone in montana or anybody across the world for that matter, can look how we're spending the taxpayers money. it is the right thing to do and it will lead to a more effective government. while there are many so things that i can accomplish without your active engagement and partnership, there are other areas where we need each other. we need each other if we're going to make progress. crafting a budget is one of those areas. montana is the envy of other states. other unemployment is lower and our economy is sounder. our state budget, unlike almost every other state budget is awash in red ink. thanks to solid fiscal management, montana amass ad half billion dollar budget surplus. our straight is strong and it's growing stronger. [applause]
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to continue improving our position, i think montana wants us to take a balance approach. let's save some. let's invest some. and let's give some back. saving some ought to be simple. i've asked you leave this legislative session with a rainy day fund, enough money in the bank so i don't have to call you back to helena in eight months or a year from now. that means we're going to have to prioritize just like the families do in each of our districts. our priorities must start with addressing the essential services mon tan nans need and the long term liabilities that those before we arrived created for us. keep in mind that if i pull out my veto pen, it may not be personal. it may just be fiscal. we can also invest some.
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i ask you to join me in prioritizing job creation, education, and a more effective government. i'll start with a two-fer. the first step you should take in creating jobs and investing in education is to put politics aside and pass the jobs bill. [applause] >> sometimes all it takes is one. you know, montanans we earned a reputation for working harder than our counterparts than any other state in the country. the quality of workers attract businesses here but we can't expect to develop a 21st century workforce in 20th century conditions. the next generation of plumbers and welders, nurses,
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and imaging techs, diesel mechanics and carpenters, they really are learning their trades in substandard facilities. the missoula college was built in 1956 for 700 students. it now has an enrollment approaching 3,000. last week i visited the automotive and diesel program at haver. it has 200 students. 100% placement rate. and some graduates earn a starting salary a heck of a lot better than a governor. [laughter] but without our investment the program can't continue to grow. and it's not just missoula and haver. many of our facilities are outdated and operating beyond their capacity. young montanans real willing to invest in higher education deserve better. why the representative and i and along with the groups of
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montanan chamber of commerce, montana contractors association, so many others have joined together to propose record investments in educational facilities. it is called the jobs bill which stands for jobs and opportunities by building schools. we can take advantage of historically low interest rates and immediately create thousands of jobs across the state. and we can do it without raising taxes. [applause] so please, let's stand together and let's stand together with the over 2500 construction workers. we want to put to work building world class schools across the state for our world class workforce and while we're at it, let's make sure those 2500 plus construction workers newly employed by the jobs bill, are our friends and our neighbors. right now we have a law on
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the book that is supposed to require that at least half of the workers on any construction project funded by state or local taxpayer dollars be montana residents but it is riddled with loopholes and it is not enforceable. when taxpayer money is funding a project, let's put montana companies and montana workers first. [applause] again, together we can work together to close these loopholes, expand the requirement to all projects too, not just construction. and let's also significantly increase the proportion of montana workers required on any state or locally-funded project. i hope you'll join representative amanda curtis and i to pass this measure so we can put more money into the hands of montana businesses and create more
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for our montana workers. as we put montana companies and workers first, we must not forget the first montanans. in my budget i proposed full funding for indian country economic development. i also insisted that the funding become permanent 10-year after year american indians don't have to come, hat in hand asking for these job-creating funds. unfortunately the first few weeks of the legislature that funding has already been cut in half. i asked that this body, if you're serious about job creation for all montanans, restore full funding for indian country economic development and make that funding permanent. [applause] now we know that investing
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in our students and educational institutions, irrequires more than just the bricks and the mortar that are in the jobs bill. for generations the quality of our education system has been recognized as the key to economic growth and job creation. but our public schools are more than that. they are truly, truly the great equalizer regardless where we are born or how wealthy our parents are, our public schools open the doors of opportunities to all montanans. they even help the kid who couldn't, and still really can't stand still become governor of the greatest state in the country. [applause] as the father of a fifth and second-grader, and a kindergartner, no issue is more important to me than extending the opportunities afterrd toed by a good
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education to montana's next generation. and our schools and the incredible teachers who educate our kids, they do give us much to celebrate. montana agent graders outperformed every other state in the nation in reading and math and we're second in science. [applause] . . >> so let's actually commit to increasing the number of adults with a postsecondary degree.
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let's commit to at least 60% over the next decade. that's an ambitious goal. we're at about 40%. but the future of the state will be shaped on these goals and what our work force is. i've asked the commissioner of higher education to join me in committing to this goal. i ask the same of you, because we can't do it without you. this is one of those goals that we're in it together. i've included proposals in this budget that move us in that direction. offering college classes to more high school students will help them recognize that higher education is within their reach, and it'll give them a jump-start on earning college credits. that's why i'm asking you the help our -- asking you to help our two-year colleges expand those credit programs. if a student starts at dylan,
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they shouldn't have to reapply and get financial aid if they want to transfer to butte. we can make it easier for students by finally creating something that should have been done a long time ago, a universal system of enrollment so students at miles community college have access to courses at montana state university. so we can help bridge the hundreds of miles between our rural areas and our universities. i ask you to pass that. [applause] and we aren't going to produce or more college graduates if the cost of college is beyond the reach of montana families. let's not kid ourselves. as cautious as this body is about raising taxes, when tuition increases because higher education isn't adequately funded, that's a tax on thousands, tens of thousands of
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working montana families all across our state. my budget inclusion agreement to freeze tuition across the university system. i urge you to honor that agreementment -- agreement. [applause] many college students have recently returned home from serving our country in the armed forces. these soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and women must know that our state will do whatever it takes to help them succeed. this morning i went out to the airport, and i was the first montanaen in to get to welcome 45 soldiers from the montana national guard who had just taken a year of their life and spent it in afghanistan. i told them our commitment was strong and that lieutenant governor walsh and i would
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insure that we live up to the promise that all of us made to them when they signed up. that's why i've asked this legislature to invest in our university system and make certain that we're providing the services and space to meet veterans' needs, the wrap-around services that will ree integrate these heroes back into civilian life and onto our college campuses. when i got back from the airport, i found out that while i was gone a legislative committee cut funding for these critical services for returning vets. i urge you to restore these funds. live up to the promises that we've made and welcome these war or yours home -- these warriors home with more than just words. [applause]
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>> you know, if we're serious about training tomorrow's work force, our commitment must begin not when our kids first enter college or not when they enter the work force, but our commitment has to begin when they first enter the world. we can't wait until kindergarten to take an interest. the evidence is compelling. every dollar we invest in early childhood education returns up to $9 in our communities. early learning programs work. children involved in early education, they do better in math and english, they're much more likely to graduate high school, they're a third less likely to be arrested as a juvenile. unfortunately, though, montana's dead last in the nation, 50th out of 50 in state investment in early childhood education. and to me, that's unacceptable.
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we can't expect head start and other federally-funded programs to carry the entire burden. some local communities have stepped in to make sure these youngsters are given a better chance. great falls is one example. they saw that a modest investment in a pre-k program led to a dramatic shift in kindergarten readiness, setting these students and our state on a much better path for the future. other -- >> we're going to leave this now, you can find it online at the c-span video library. take you live to where congressman burgess is speaking on congress and health care. you're watching live coverage here on c-span2. >> some observations with you. now, look, i will tell you in all candor and all politics aside, let's be honest. there was not a lot in the way of honesty coming out of the agencyies prior to that special date in november. and, of course, you had states who were kind of perched on the
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edge of their seats waiting to see what this, what this rulemaking was going to look like. what are the essential health benefits? what are we going to be expected to provide if we, if we do, indeed, get into these exchanges like has been talked about? so there was a, you know, a concept of sort of hide the ball before november 6th, and then the states all had to make a decision literally within a week about whether or not they were going to participate. and then that deadline got extended but, hey, wait, that's thanksgiving and christmas, who's paying attention to this stuff anyway. so the deadline has gradually been extended. i think at this point there may, in fact, not even be a deadline at all. but, you know, you go back to when this thing all was generated, probably thanksgiving of 2009. and, of course, you know, i griped a lot because, hey, i'm a doctor. i'm a member of of congress, i should be in the room, i should be helping them figure this stuff out. i have talked to several governors since this all happened, and while i might have made the political point that,
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you know, as a doctor in congress i should have been involved, the governors really should have been involved in this. and i think a lot of the anxiety that we're seeing play out now -- and, again, remember, i'm from texas, and it's high anxiety back in texas -- but all the anxiety you're seeing play out now is because the governors were not included. and yet talk to the governor of utah, governor huckabee when he was governor of arkansas will tell you that governors have a lot of health care stuff that comes through their executive office just on a daily basis. of course, they have the state part of their state medicaid programs. most of them have a lot of state employees who they are responsible for providing their, their health insurance benefits. and, in fact, they have their own state prison systems which consume a lot of health care dollars. so so governors are really on the forefront of this, and i think the product might have been better had they been included from the beginning. i can't say so much about
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including myself, but the governors probably deserved to play some table -- deserved a place at the table when all of this was decided. but that didn't happen. so where are we now? early february. you know, all of this has to be working when the switch is turned on not january 1st of next year, but october 1st when people back home are going to, are supposed to be able to go to their computers and sign up for insurance in the exchanges. now, there will be, of course, a lot of confusion over who's in the exchanges and who's still covered by their old insurance, and, you know, you can expect a lot of that sort of difficulty. but, you know, quite honestly, one of my big anxieties now, and i was never a fan of this policy as it went through, but what happens if october 1st there's nothing, there's no system to turn on, that people aren't able to get what they have been led to believe they will be able to get on october 1st? so that's a pretty big step.
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and one of my roles on the committee of energy and commerce, also as the vice chair of the committee on oversight and investigations not to be politically motivated, but we need to hear a lot from, yes, the secretary, but also the director from the office of consumer information insurance oversight. we need to hear a lot from them about how this has, how this is going. what is their world looking like? what are the problems that they are encountering? how are they dealing with those problems as they are encountered? because, look, i don't want to make this too perm, but despite -- too personal, but despite what you hear on rush limbaugh, members of congress are going to be covered under the exchanges. [laughter] texas is not going to be doing an exchange. so, yeah, my insurance will be covered under the exchange. so this is a matter of no small importance.
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there are a lot of people who will be looking to this federal exchange to be set up, to their own state exchanges, and it all does have to work on october 1st when it's switched on for the first time. it's hard for me to know as a member of the committee where the piece is in development. this is an enormous undertaking to be able to construct something that's never been built before and to build that architecture from the ground up. and, again, it has to work perfectly the first time it's tried in october of this year. some of the anxiety over costs, and we've heard that play out. i mean, on the plane on the way up here and politico -- i don't want to give them too big a plug because i don't always agree with the stuff they do -- [laughter] but here's their article, premium price shock could fuel some aca foes. well, it's not just that, it's what happens to my constituents, my patients back home when they get a bill for the bronze level that is much higher than they
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ever thought they would have to, they would have to bear. and that is going to be an issue that really everyone in this room is going to have to deal with at some level. you know, you talk about the good things that are going to come from the affordable care act, and more people will be covered by health insurance than anytime the in the past unless they aren't because they said, wait a minute, i've got a $695 fine or this premium that's a lot more. you know, figure out what your average 27-year-old is going to do. i mean, look, i could buy a bass boat for what you're telling me i've got to purchase this insurance for, and they will make the decision accordingly as they have always done. so the cost considerations are big. and, you know, when i go back to the summer of 2009, what i was hearing from people in these angry town hall meetings was two things. number one, don't mess up the system as it exists today because, arguably, 65, 67% of people were satisfied with the
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system as it existed at the time. the other thing that they -- and i don't know that that necessarily occurred. we may have messed up the system. but the other thing they said if you're going to do anything at all, could you please help us with cost. because we are concerned about what this, what health insurance costs, what health care costs. and if you're going to be doing anything at all, will you please help us with the cost aspect. and that's the other aspect or that's the other opportunity that was missed when this major health care reform occurred. because as we're beginning to see now even from dubious sources like politico, what we're beginning to see now is that the cost may, in fact, be a factor that is going to be a formidable obstacle for some people to actually become insured. and then you have, of course, the medicaid expansion. one of the things that the supreme court did do was said that states could bifurcate their existing medicaid populations from the medicaid expansion that was to be covered under the affordable care act.
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so you have states like mine, texas, right now -- state legislature's in session. the governor has said, no, we are not going to do this medicaid expansion. you do have state senators and house of representatives from the state who are looking at the massive amounts of money involved and saying, well, maybe, governor, we ought to rethink this. so there will be a lot of discussion. it's not a question that is closed at this point. but the way forward for medicaid expansion in texas right now is probably pretty rocky. at the same time, some of the things, you know, texas does have a reputation for having a significant number of uninsured people, but texas also has a robust safety net system. and so the hospitals that receive the disproportionate share of funds are able to accommodate a number of people who otherwise might be left out of the system. well, if those funds are pulled off for other things, exchanges, the cost of subsidies in the exchanges and the cost of
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medicaid expansion in other state, then where does that leave the texas taxpayer? where does that leave the texas patient who is uninsured? so these are all things that are going to have to be worked through at some point. yes, there will be some rough edges, but it is up to us as policymakers regardless of our politics, it's up to us as policymakers to see that those things in the end do work out. i do have some concerns about what will happen. and, again, texas is probably one of the states that's furthest away from ever embracing either the exchanges or the medicaid expansion. at the same time, we do, you know, we do all live under one flag, and we will eventually make it work. however making it work looks like. be better if the rest of the country felt like us, but right now we're kind of where we are. [laughter] just this morning one of the news shows had governor kasich, and he's taking a hard look at this.
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we've heard about governor rick scott and his discussions with secretary sebelius. so there's, obviously, a lot of moving parts under the surface, and it's difficult to predict. one thing i can tell you and one thing i can predict is that the funding for everything that the government does is going to be tricky for this, for this year, the next two years. you've already seen some of the stuff. now, the fiscal cliff, to me, was a made-for-tv drama. we literally made that up. it didn't have to happen. it was something we decided to do, and there it was. [laughter] and it was interesting to me because it was the first time congress was in session on new year's day since i was a week old. so this was really a historic time to be in congress. the last time was when the korean war was starting to go badly, so it gives you an idea of where we stood in history. the fiscal cliff was difficult, but it got handled. um, there's now -- the house and
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senate have both passed a bill that's said this year, by golly, we are going to do a budget. and i think that's important because it's hard to know how to plan if you don't, if you don't take that simple step of doing a budget. there is the sequester, and the sequester was postponed by the cliff, the fiscal cliff, but the sequester has not gone away. and my opinion, and i'm just speaking for myself not for anyone in the republican congress or anyone in leadership on either side, my impression is that the sequester will not be, will not be changed substantially before march the 1st when the sequester will occur. it's going to be tough. it's going to be tough down in texas. i don't have big defense installations in the 26th district, but not too far away are some major suppliers, and they will have layoffs and constituents will be affected by that. there are multiple small suppliers for a company like
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lockheed martin that are scattered throughout north texas that are going to be impacted. so the defense cuts are going to be very real, and they're going to be very, very difficult on several levels. but there are also the aspect that half of these automatic cuts are going to come from the domestic side of the budget. and while right now there is no, no play -- there's nothing that's going to effect medicaid, there is a 2% reduction in what providers are paid under the medicare side or at least according to guidance released by the office of the management and budget. sure enough, the feeling was that we won't do anything that effects the beneficiaries, but i've got to tell you i'm sure there are a few doctors in the audience who will recognize that you keep ratcheting down on the provider side, and it is going to effect the beneficiary side if it hasn't done so already, and predominantly in the form of access. and are people actually going to
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be able to find a doctor who will take their medicare? will medicaid be brought into that in some future iteration? i don't know. the president has said not. but no sooner do you finish with the sequester, then you come up upon an expiration of the continuing resolution which funds all the d.s, all the cabinet -- all the departments, all the cabinet departments for the next six months. that will automatically be affected by those automatic cuts in the sequester. so for the first time in probably a long time, the discretionary part of the federal budget will be, will be under a trillion dollars on an annualized basis. and that's a pretty big reduction from where it's been before. and then after all of that gets sorted out and another continuing resolution gets passed, there'll be, of course, the debt limit because the debt limit was not extended this last time, but it was suspended, and that suspense ends on may the 19th. now, the treasury secretary will do some stuff to make it the --
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it's not may the 20th, but some point during the summer there is going to be the same sort of drama there was in the summer of 2011 with the debt limit expiring and the risk for so-called default on the united states' obligations. so a lot of big things are right on the horizon. finish and as a consequence, you as activists and policymakers need to be aware of these things. i can tell you at this point there are -- anyone who tells you they know exactly what's going to happen isn't telling you the truth because no one knows what exactly is going to happen. no one 18 months ago would have predicted we would have been here. in fact, you know what my prediction was. but no one 18 months ago would have predicted you would be here with the sequester. remember when the sequester was passed in august of 2011, it was of designed to be such a poison pill, such a toxic issue that no one would let it p happen. and yet the supercommittee came
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crashing to earth, further attempts at trying to discuss or negotiate what the sequester should look like, in fact, didn't materialize. so then the automatic cuts, again, were postponed january 1st, but i don't see any ground swell of enthusiasm within the united states congress, house or senate, to postpone these cuts further. there is sort of broad recognition that it's bad, but it's just going to have to happen, because we've got to get on to the next thing and the next thing and the next thing. so the sequester was never supposed to be allowed to happen but, in fact, it is going to happen. the president said in one of the debates last fall if you were watching that he would stop the sequester. but, in fact, the executive branch can't stop the sequester at this point because it's not like you can go back and retroactively veto a bill that was already signed 18 months ago. the sequester is going to happen as a consequence. those cuts will occur. all of that's going to have a profound effect on health policy
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going forward. and, again, i can't tell you what i'd -- i don't have a crystal ball to tell you what's going to happen. i've got some things that i think could happen. but at the same time, there's, as you know, there's lots of different people who participate in these discussions and these decisions. let me leave you on somewhat of a positive note if i could because this kind of has been a little bit depressing, hasn't it? [laughter] one of the great things about serving in congress, i did not know, for example, when i was a medical student or resident that you can come to washington and do a fellowship. people do that. so once a year i try to sit down with all of the residents and medical students who are doing fellowships not just in congressional offices, but sometimes at the agencies. and july of 2010, a few months after the affordable care act was signed into law, a kid said to me, boy, dr. burgess, i knew if you were coming down the road, you would have never gone into medicine. and i said, you know what? if i had to do it all over again, i would do it in a heartbeat, and you guys who are
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just on the cusp of beginning your careers are going to have tools at your disposal to alleviate human suffering that no generation of doctors has ever had. this is really going to be the golden age of health care, the old golden age of health care delivery, the golden age of medical science. we are right on the precipice. the stuff that's known with the human genome and the ability to deliver personalized medicine in a way that never has been done before, these are going to be some of the truly startling things of this century and truly the promise of american medicine in the 21st century. and i went on to tell him, true enough, we screwed the policy up pretty bad, but you guys are young -- [laughter] you've got really fast computers, and i have every confidence you'll get this straightened out. thank you for listening, and i'll be happy to take questions if that's your pleasure. [applause] >> thank you, congressman. we have a couple of mics set up
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over here to the right. again, we have the lights in our eyes, so, um, i'll try to see if there's anybody joining a microphone. we will simply thank you for your time. >> thank you, and i appreciate you letting me be here. [applause] >> so thanks again, congressman burgess. we now, congressman burgess did need to leave, so you have a bit more time to chat at your tables and also, um, 2:00 the next round of breakout sessions happen, and then it's back in here for another plenary. so, please, continue talking about some of the many challenges that congressman burgess covered for us. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> representative michael burgess there, his remarks on congress and health care issues. and if you missed any of his remarks, they'll be available online shortly. just check them out at c-span.org/videolibrary. and the academy health conference will continue this afternoon at 4 eastern with a look at health care and the states, and our coverage is going to continue on our companion network, c-span3. congress is back today. the house is in at 2 eastern to take up a small number of bills with votes at 6:30. this week the house plans to work on a measure requiring the president to submit a balanced budget to congress. the senate is also in at 2 eastern for general speeches. at 5:30 they'll be voting to advance a bill reauthorizing the
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violence against women act. that's a domestic violence law that expired in 2011. members of both parties are attending retreats this week, and as a result of those retreats, the senate is expected to be out on tuesday and wednesday, and in the house no legislative business is expected on thursday or friday. as always, you can watch the house live on cell phone sparks and the -- on c-span, and the senate right here on c-span2. earlier today we covered a speech by alaska republican senator lisa murkowski who talked about energy issues. here's a brief look. >> so within our report we declare five principles. in addition to energy is good -- i'm trying to make this really simple for everybody through the morning fog of a monday morning. [laughter] energy is good, and then there's five principles. it is in our national interest to make energy abundant, affordable, clean, diverse and secure. i've even put them in alphabetical order for ease of
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memory. [laughter] no acronyms here this morning, that's just going to confuse. alphabetical is good. so, first, let's talk about abundance. as the standard of living rises globally, demand for energy will continue to grow, and anyone who has experienced a blackout, it's amazing how this blackout last night just ties into everything. i've got to say it this morning. [laughter] but anyone who's ever experienced a super bowl blackout or a gasoline shortage doesn't can need an explanation of the value of energy abundance. we should aim to use our energy more wisely. but that's not a substitute for production or for measures that will increase the reliability of our systems and our supplies. so, second, this notion of affordability. the direct cost of energy affects the costs of everything. everything that we do. and there is nothing else that impacts our economy so directly
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as energy. whether it's individuals that are struggling to fill up their gas tanks or pay their electric bills, whether it's our business leaders that are making decisions on investments based on the cost of power server farms or smelters or whatever it is, we all recognize that lower cost is better. that's what everybody's seeking. that's what they're all seeking. now, there are those who would have you believe, though, that the best way to reduce energy's indirect cost is simply to raise the direct cost so that we discourage energy use. my friends, this is, this is a self-defeating policy. lowering the direct cost of energy is key to helping the u.s. economy recover and prosper. absolutely key. next is clean. as we attempt to minimize indirect costs or the externalities by driving up these prices -- again, i would
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suggest that this is a policy that's doomed to economic and practical failure. instead, we have to be aware of the impacts of every type of energy and make rational, informed decisions on what is acceptable, what needs to be mitigated, how do we do just that. our challenge here is to reduce the cost of cleaner sources of energy, not raise the cost of existing sources. and when we talk about clean, what we've tried to do in this report is to give it some definition here. too often "clean" is treated as an absolute. but i would contend that it is better regarded as a comparison. a better definition of clean in my view and what we have used in this report is less intensive in global lifestyle impacts than its likeliest alternative.
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so just consider that. less global -- less intensive in global lifestyle impacts. so next, diversity. every type of energy clearly has its own advantages, its own disadvantages, but overall the more diverse our sources of energy, the more robust and secure our national energy grid and our fuel supplies are. and the more diverse our energy supply, the greater chance that we will have in achieving these game-changing breakthroughs that i think we would all acknowledge are so critical to how we move forward whether it is to cleaner energy sources, more secure energy sources. it's these game-changing breakthroughs. and then the final point here is about security. something that we all talk about so much. the united states currently produces about 80% of our own energy, but we are way still
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dependent, far too dependent on foreign oil. when we think about how we are able to develop our energy resources, some 80%, again, is produced here. but it's in that transportation sector that we really have that vulnerability. so for the sake of our nation's economy, for our national security and the world's environment, we must strive to produce the largest possible percentage of our oil needs domestically and endeavor to obtain any of our imports from neighbors and strong allies whether they be canada, whether they be mexico, tapping our potential and restoring trust in our people will be a breakthrough in itself. now, within our report we've set out a number of important goals, and these are generally centered around where we need to be by 2020. >> that was a portion of senator
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murkowski's remarks. you can watch the entire event on c-span's video library. and today here on c-span2 live coverage from the floor of the senate coming in at 2 eastern for general speeches and at 5:30 voting to advance a bill reauthorizing the violence against women act. that's a domestic violence law that expired in 2011. before the senate comes in, though, in about half an hour, a look at immigration policy recommendations that have been proposed recently. this is from today's "washington journal." >> host: weekly at this time we have a your money segment, and what we do is take a look at programs not only for what the cost of the program, but what the programs do. this time we're going to focus our discussion on border security, and joining us for this discussion, david silverberg is homeland security today. welcome. >> guest: thank you. >> host: if you look at what we see as far as border security is concerned, there was about $12 billion for the customs and
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border protection component, but when it come toss the customs and border enforcement d., about $5.6 billion dollars. what do we get for that money overall? >> guest: what you get is a much or more secure border than you had in 2001 when we had the 9/11 attacks. you have a much better monitoring of who's coming across the borders, much better controlling, these are all things that are supposed to make the american public more secure, and that's what you're paying for as a taxpayer. >> host: so break down the various d.s as far as what they do -- departments as far as what they do. what specifically when it comes to border security, what's their role? >> guest: in customs and border protection is the u.s. border patrol, the people on the front lines making sure that, you know, catching the people coming across illegally, stopping contraband, um, and customs and
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border protection is also a broader thing. they're running drone, they're running the predator, surveillance aircraft that are looking over the border. off i.c.e., you have immigration and customs enforcement. they're also looking at people who are here in the united states. they incorporated the old ins, immigrationing and naturalization service. they're also enforcing customs recklations, making sure that -- regulations, making sure that we don't have contra band, you know, counterfeit goods, that sort of thing. also, by the way, it has to be noted, customs and border protection which is part of the department of homeland security, dhs, also is trying to stop southbound contra band. that means guns, cash from drug deals, all that kind of thing. and i would also add the coast guard which governs the maritime segment and the maritime portings. and you can also add tsa, the transportation security administration which, of course,
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screens us at the airports but also does a lot more in terms of contraband and making sure bad things aren't coming into the united states. >> host: is this amount of spending new to this administration, or have previous administrations spent this kind of money? >> guest: they've always spent the this kind of money. in fact, it's down a little bit. what happened with dhs is it was create inside the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and we're coming up exactly on the tenth anniversary, the spending rose very rapidly over a number of years. then it leveled off, and now it's declining somewhat. and we'll see what sequestration does to our border capabilities. >> host: we're going to talk a little bit about that. but we invite you to call. the numbers are on your screen, 202-585-3881 for republicans, 3880 for democrats, 3882 for independents. if you want to tweet us, it's c-span wj. if you want to e-mail us,
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journal@c-span.org. what's the obama administration's approach to border security? >> guest: it's very interesting because now border security's becoming very complex. there's a strong border security component to the immigration reform bill that's being discuss ed and to the proposal that was put together by the so-called gang of eight senators who sat down in a bipartisan way and came up with a new proposal. their border security component is somewhat specific, and their whole immigration reform package hinges on securing that border. the obama administration proposal has more to do with interior enforcement, with changing laws of how we enforce verification of employment, the fact that people are here in the united states legally, all that kind of thing. and it's less specific on the border element of that. now, to me the whole hinge centers around what is a secure border.
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i mean, what is border security? and, in fact, there's no definition. it's subject to different interpretations, and what they're doing in the senate proposal which i think is going to be the one that goes forward and is tweaked and debated and discussed, they want to put together a commission of stakeholders and border security. and it's this commission that's supposed to certify what, whether a secure border or has been achieved. but if you don't define what a secure border is, i don't know how you can certify that it's achieved. and then go on with the rest of the reform. so it's a very, very big question, and it's kind of being kicked down the road. >> correct me if i'm wrong, but even some of the senators debating this are saying don't get too hung up on what the idea of complete border security means. >> guest: that's right. and it's something that's never been fully defined since 9/11 and even before. there's always been some illegal crossing, there's always been caron that band coming across. some of our worst smuggling across the border was across the
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northern border during prohibition when, you know, canadian club was sending whiskey into the united states. so it's a very, very squishy, for want of a better word, concept. you know, you look around the world, what is a secure border? well, i would argue that the most secure border is between north and south korea. you've got minefield, you've got patrols, you've got razor wire, you've got fences, you've got patrols that shoot to kill. i mean, that's not, i think, what we want our border to be. by the same token b, we've been beefing up our border capabilities, we've built obstacles and walls. there was a concept for a continuous wall. that was kind of abandoned. but the border is far more secure than when this effort started in the wake of 9/11. >> host: in discussions about this, president obama referenced what president bush did when it came to this. >> guest: yes, that's right. >> host: could you give us a snapshot of his accomplishments? >> guest: well, bush and more specifically secretary michael chertoff started something
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called the secure border initiative in 2006, and there was an attempt to build a virtual wall, they called it, fbi net, border or initiative network. there was a recruitment drive for border patrolmen. they brought the border patrol up to strength. it's now about 21,000 people. there was a creation of something called e-verify where employers had to verify electronically that people are here illegally and legally employable. there was the creation of u.s. visit which you referenced earlier, and that is a program to make sure that we know everybody who's coming into the united states. a lot of the proposals in the senate concept simply sort of intensified these programs that already exist. one program that has been debated a long time has been an exit strategy for u.s. visit. we know who's coming in, but we don't have a comprehensive for knowing someone who has overstayed their visa, who's leaving, when they left.
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and dhs, the department of homeland security, has resisted this because it's so expensive to implement. if we were going to implement this kind of comprehensive system, ten years ago the government accountability office estimated it would cost $15 billion to implement that. i don't know what the rate of inflation for this kind of program is, but it would be a lot higher. then there's the whole question of credentialing. president obama's talking about a verifiable, tamper-proof card that people will get. well, we've had all kinds of discussion about real id. we've had discussion about making driver's licenses, you know, up to -- taking them up to a standard at a national level. and that's been a complex issue. there's discussion again in the senate proposal for improving technology on the border. well, they've been working on that. fbi net lasted five years, and then they finally abandoned it. they never quite achieved what they were looking to do. so it's very, very complex, and it is very, very costly if they
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implement what they want to do. >> host: just one statistic as far as the southern border is concerned, the u.s./mexico border about 2,000 miles, the fence that currently exists about 650 miles. >> guest: right. but, you know, a fence is not appropriate for every situation, and what they have is not a continuous fence like the great wall of china. they have a series of barriers that make it difficult to come across or make it more likely that you're going to be caught. and what happens a lot in this debate is that there's a static idea of the border. the border is dynamic, and the enforcement has to be dynamic. what you have to realize is as they enforce different sectors, the challenge moves to a different place. so the border patrol closed off the -- or made tighter -- the urban areas where people were coming across in texas and especially around san diego. and this effort preceded 9/11. okay. so when they closed that off because people could come
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through a drainpipe in san diego and disappear and get away with it pretty quickly. so they made that tighter, they lowered the instance of illegal crossings, so what did the illegals do? they went to arizona. so now they're crossing through the desert. then we've now made it tighter in arizona, now the rio grande valley is more of a challenge. so it's a dynamic issue. it's kind of cat and mouse. and there's another element to this. you can't separate u.s. border security on the southwest border from what's going on in mexico, and mexico has been in this practically a state of civil war for the last -- since 2006. there's cartels fighting with each other, there's terrible, terrible massacres, and at the same time there's, you know, as i mentioned, guns coming down from the united states. so it's pretty complex, and it's very dynamic. >> host: to calls for, i guess, david silverberg of homeland security, he's the founding
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editor. this is ron on the independent line. go ahead. >> caller: yes. i had a question about the contraband that comes from the u.s. down, and how do they get the guns across from fast and furious? were the border agents told to let these guys on or how did that work? >> guest: well, with fast and furious, the questions about it not the border control, but the atf, the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives allowed a certain number of guns, about 2,000 from what i understand, to go into mexico so that they could trace these guns. and the problem was that they lost track of some of these guns, and one of these guns was used to kill a u.s. border patrol agent which in a terrible, terrible way showed the success of fast and furious. and it proved that this smuggling of guns was not only being used to subvert the
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mexican government and the forces of law and order there, it was coming back to the united states and subverting our own law enforcement. so fast and furious is considered a terrible failure, and a lot of the people who are involved in it have faced dismissal and disgrace. however, it did show where those u.s. guns are going and how they're being used. >> host: related to the larger topic of border security, daryl rich says if the borders are so secure, why do we still have immigrants, drugs money and guns coming and going? >> guest: that's a very -- again, it coms to your definition -- it comes to your testify in addition of border security. the united states has over 500 miles of border in the south and, of course, the northern border. put it this way, it is not an impermeable border unless you want to have of a guy stationed every 10 feet and put down minefields. there is always going to be some illicit traffic. now, janet napolitano, the
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secretary of homeland security, has famously said that border is more secure now than it has ever been, and it's probably true because the number of apprehensions have gone down, the number of of border principalmen are up, the -- patrolmen are up, the monitoring is much more severe and much close or than it has been in the past, and yet there are still remote areas, there's still trafficking, there's certainly still contra band coming through. and it's not an impermeable border. and the decision that the members of the congress will have to make and, perhaps, this commission if they set it up is do we want a truly impermeable border. let's look at where there are impermeable borders. the berlin wall was even an impermeable border. israel has very, very strong and strict border patrol and border surveillance. and the israelis because they have a much smaller area have succeeded. but they also built a wall in
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certain areas. not across the entire border, but many various maces that were very sensitive where there was sniping coming across the border: you know, there used to be terrorists sniping at israeli highways. also they had a wave of suicide bomb ors. well, they built that wall, and they signed the problem. it's a horrible, big, ugly wall, you know, separating communities. the times i've been in israel was before they built that wall, and it was an open country really. however, it's much tougher and they solved their immediate problem. no more sniperrer, no more suicide bomb or orings. if we want to build a wall like that and we're willing to bear the cost of it -- because this is very costly -- then we can do it. >> host: clayton from new jersey, republican line. >> caller: good morning, how you doing? >> guest: good morning. >> caller: my question is part of the problem was the border
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enforcement was never enforced by any, any party. it was never enforced. and what i hear is that, oh, it doesn't work. border security never works. it never worked because neither party never enforced it. >> guest: no, i -- >> caller: they played around and said it was enforced. neither party was really enforcing anything. and another thing, how can you enforce something and when you encourage, you encourage people once they get here we're giving them driver's licenses, you give them jobs, you give them economic benefits, that's encouragement. >> host: okay. thank you, caller. >> caller: i have to take issue with that because the border has always been enforced to some degree or another. if you go back to the texas rangers, they were enforcing the border after texas became part of the united states. the question has always been the level of enforcement, you know? the u.s. border patrol was created in 1924 to stop booze coming across the borders. but the question is, has the
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level of enforcement been commensurate with the issue of, that -- with the challenge? i mean, in the 1990s when the united states economy was rip roaring and growing, people were truly coming across the border in large numbers. there was a 1986 border reform act, and ronald reagan gave an am messty, and they -- amnesty, and they tried to deal with it then. and then when the united states economy became this huge lodestone, people were coming across in much larger numbers. actually, what has happened is as we have tightened our enforcement and tightened security at the border, people who are here illegally can't go back to their native country which is mainly mexico or, put it this way, they're afraid that if they go back, they won't be able to get into the united states. so they today here. now we have what's generally come to a con consensus, it's 11
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million illegal aliens who are in a legal limbo. they've broken the law here, they're afraid to leave because they can't go back, and the question before the congress and before the administration is how do you deal with this? well, this is what all these proposals are that are being circulated. >> host: san antonio, texas, republican. >> caller: hello there. i've got a program i'd like to run past you. i call it boots and bullets on the border. i say the we put the national reserves on the boarder and start protecting the americans instead of the rest to have the world. >> guest: well, it's interesting because the guard has been on the worlders and has been for several years. it was called operation jump-start, and the guard went, and the national guard from all the states helped build a lot of the barriers that are up there now. and there have been instances where we have used military forces op the border, and there was a case back in the 1990s where some u.s. marines were on
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the boarder and used deadly force against some shepherd who was running his sheep or cattle across the border and killed some 17-year-old kid, as i recall. finish so the military has been used when necessary. now, the theory is that the u.s. border patrol was up to full strength, and they no longer need that military support. and the military support, i might add, a lot of it was administrative, a lot of it was in intelligence. it wasn't all front line, you know, border deployment. we did a lot of articles on operation jump-start and the use of the national guard on the border. is that's not necessarily a solution, although it is a usable one, and it's also an expensive one. what the members of the senate are talking about is boosting the strength of the border patrol yet again. but they don't specify what those jobs would be or what they would do or to what the end strength of the border patrol
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will be if their programs are enacted. >> by 2011, about 18,505 people along the southwest border, 2200 on the northern border. >> guest: right. and we've just come through a super bowl. i did an editorial. when the nfl, the national football legal, wouldn't run an advertisement for border patrol people back then in the super bowl program -- and it was outrageous considering that the nfl and the super bowls get taxpayer-supported protection, and they changed that policy. so, ultimately, the border patrol was brought up to what was considered full strength, and that's the deployment that you just mentioned. now, if the senators want a larger border patrol and hiring more people, that's fine as long as they pay for it. >> host: there's a question when it comes to technology off of twitter, how effective are drones? are they more effective and efficient on the north and south
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borders? >> guest: oh, yeah. cbt, customs and border protection have about ten drones. those are predators. i think they want 14 more. the faa -- well, the congress said that we can use more civilian drones, and there is supposed to be a plan drawn up that will come out by 2015 of how you deploy these drones. because not only is cbp going to be deploying the drones, it's going to make it possible for other agencies to deploy drones. and that means, you know, county sheriffs, state troopers. and you've got to come up with some kind of a plan that, so they don't run into each other at the very least, and everybody knows what everyone else is watching. and something else that needs to be said is, you know, everybody thinks the drones are this great panacea, and it's true certainly in waziristan and pakistan where there's no challenge to these drones. but it's not going to be long, and we did a big article and we
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have a cover in our october issue on road drones. because pretty soon, if they aren't already, the cartels are going to start using drones if not to deliver drugs, but then to surveil the border and see where the poll is so they can get across wherever they are. as it is now the cartels and the smugglers do watch our side of the border, and they even build towers to stand over the barriers so they can see on the other side. so it's going to be a very crowded air space over the border, and that needs to be sorted out. >> be here's the cover from october of homeland security today. if this is a story about drones, tell us a little bit about your publication. >> guest: homeland security today is the foremost publication on homeland security. we've been doing it since, actually, february 1st marked my ninth year at the helm of that, and we have covered homeland security and all its aspects and always have.
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and i hope always will. >> host: amarillo, texas. good morning to jim on our independents rhine. >> caller: good morning. i hope you won't cut me off. i've only probably gotten in twice in the last six years, and part of my comment has to do with policies i think are c-span policies. there's a failure to discuss the topic of illicit drugs. now, earlier in this segment i think it was missing a prohibition on l alcohol, and, of course, i think we ought to make alcohol with a trade between canada and the united states. we now have an illicit trade of drugs primarily across the southern borderer, and we're all aware of the horrible carnage and violence that's happening in mexico. and, of course, even in every
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neighborhood in the united states there is crime, violence associated not with drugs themselves, but as a by-product of them being illegal. the illicit market. i hope that -- i pray c-span will devote a segment on whether or not it's truly rational to have this drug prohibition. because there are problems that range from security of the border, you lock up -- >> host: okay, caller, you made that point, and we have done that before, but thank you for the comment. do you have a question about border security? >> caller: how much of the border security could be relieved if we, if we took the element of smuggling drugs across the border out of it? >> host: caller, thank you. >> guest: a very interesting question and one i don't think anybody can answer specifically. it's just worth noting that back
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after prohibition was dropped all the smuggling cartels then p, you know, that's what gave rise to the mafia as we know it. they went into other forms of illicit activity, and they tried to make up their profits that they had lost, you know, when prohibition ended. so one can fairly well expect that the same kind of thing is going to happen depending upon what kind of measures the united states takes. if, say, we legalize marijuana or something hike that, they're a business. they've got to find orr markets. and that's what they do. they wouldn't disappear. having said that, it changes the enforcement element of border or security. one thing i would suggest if anybody wants to see what goes on on a day-to-day basis, national geographic has border wars and you can see the tsa and the cbp and the border troll does on a daily basis with both people, contrabands and keeping the border ors secure.
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>> host: a question of of twitter. this is jackie jeffrey saying why can't we just have soldiers stationed at the borders with guns? >> guest: well, at a time when we are looking at major defense cuts and at the time when we need our soldiers to fight our wars, yes, you could do that if you wanted to do that. but nobody really wants to do that. and there's several reasons for this. first of all, it's not really the mission of the united states military. the united states military is to fight our wars abroad and, hopefully, they'll always stay abroad should they need to be fought. another thing is that the border patrol is built and trained to deal with the problems at the border that we have with contraband, human trafficking, all those things. they know when to use deadly force, usually, and when not to. they know that they're a law enforcement agency rather than a military defense agency. so it's -- as i said, the
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national guard has been used on the border rather extensively over the past ten years. but it's not really cost effective, and it's a different mission, and it detracts from the military's mission. >> host: this is utica, mission, republican line. len, you're on. >> caller: yes, good morning, gentlemen. david, specifically i was wondering about whatever happened with the minute -- >> we're going to break away from this "washington journal" piece now for live coverage of the u.s. senate. just a quick reminder, you can see the segment online anytime, c-span.org/videolibrary. the u.s. senate gaveling in to start the week. general speeches until 5 p.m. eastern at which point lawmakers will turn to the violence against women act which expired in 2011. that's a vote to move the bill forward. it'll take place at 5:30 p.m. eastern. now live to the senate floor here on c-span2.
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the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain dr. barry black
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will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. lord god, you are infinite, unchangeable and holy. thank you for this day and the opportunities to be stewards of your love, grace and compassion. use our senators to respond to the needs in our world, infusing them with a willingness to do your will. invade their hearts and minds with your peace, as they envision your plans and purposes. give them power to handle the pressures, light for their path and patience for their challenges. let your wisdom guide them,
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your hand guard them and your shield protect them. we pray in your great name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: the majority leader. mr. reid: mr. president, i'm
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going to have to get used to the president pro tempore presiding over the senate. it's not the script we have followed for quite a few years. i'm very happy to see you here, as usual. mr. president, following leader remarks, the senate will be in a period of morning business until 5:00 p.m. following that morning business, the senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to s. 47, the violence against women act. at 5:30, the senate will vote on the motion to proceed to the bill. there are two bills at the desk i am told due for a second reading, mr. president. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will read the titles of the bills for the second time. the clerk: s. 201, a bill to prohibit the sale, lease, transfer of f-16 aircraft, m-1 tanks and certain other articles to the government of egypt. s. 204, a bill to preserve and protect the free choice of individual employees to form, join or assist labor organizations and to refrain from such activities.
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mr. reid: mr. president, with these two bills, i would object to any further proceedings. the speaker pro tempore: objection is heard. the measures will be placed on the calendar. mr. reid: mr. president, in the two decades since the violence against women act passed, -- and it passed on a very strong vote, a bipartisan vote here in the senate and then in the house at the time, incidents of domestic violence have fallen by more than half, by as much as 53%. a law that helped millions of women and children escape their attackers and get the justice they deserve is a landmark piece of legislation. that's why congress twice reauthorized this legislation without a hint of controversy or a moment of delay, but despite the overwhelming evidence that this legislation saves lives and protects women, house republicans used every
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procedural trick known to congress to block its reauthorization last congress. and despite strong bipartisan support here in the senate -- pardon me, mr. president. but despite the overwhelming evidence that this legislation saves lives and protects women, house republicans used every procedural trick to block its reauthorization last congress, and despite strong bipartisan support here in the senate, republicans in the house refuse to join the effort to renew our natural commitment to ending domestic violence. allowing partisan delays to put women's lives at risk is simply shameful. if house republicans believe domestic violence is no longer a problem in this country, they're wrong. every day, three women in america die at the hands of their abusers.
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every day, many, many women escape with their lives but with the physical and emotional scars of abuse that exist. more than a third of women in this country have been victims of violence, sexual assault or stalking by a partner. mr. president, a third of the women in this country have been victims of violence, sexual assault or stalking by a partner. it's in our power to help them, and it's unthinkable that republicans in the house would prevent us from taking action, again refused to do anything as they did last congress. victims of violence and law enforcement officials who support them have already waited too long for congress to act. this week, the senate will pass a strong bipartisan reauthorization, the violence against women act. this is something that was put forward by the chairman of that committee, the judiciary committee, senator leahy. he has worked hard on this. he did everything possible last congress to get this done, and because of the house and
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tragedies, they refused to do anything in spite of his work. so i thank chairman leahy, senator murray and the women of the senate for their leadership on this issue. i am pleased so many of my senate colleagues have expressed support for swift action on this legislation and especially so many senate republicans have supported this legislation. the senate will not allow women to be denied the protection they need and deserve. we must ensure law enforcement has the means to stop these horrible crimes. we must guarantee communities have the resources to support victims, regardless of sexual orientation, immigration status or where they live as they heal. every victim of domestic violence deserves the same vigorous protections under the law. because of the unique nature of the crime, combating domestic violence and protecting those affected also requires unique tools. we authorizing this act would help law enforcement continue to
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develop effective strategies to prosecute cases involving violent crimes against women. it would provide funding for shelters and transitional housing programs for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and help victims become independent. it would make legal assistance available to victims of violence and safeguard children and youth affected by dating violence and stalking. although violence against women act expired in 2011, many of the programs established under the law have been funded by continuing resolutions, but not everything. but a full reauthorization of this law is necessary to assure authorities have all the resources they need to fight domestic violence. so i hope the senate's bipartisan action of this week will send a strong message to house republican leaders that further partisan delay is unacceptable.
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the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, the american people are deeply unhappy with the way washington operates these days. they're tired of people telling them what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear, and they're tired of all the political games and gimmicks that substitute for real action on the problems we face as a nation. given what we've seen from the white house and congressional democrats, frankly, it's hard to blame them. as i have said repeatedly in recent weeks, we need to find a way to control runaway federal
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spending and debt, and we need to do it quickly. it is absolutely essential if we're to avoid a european-style catastrophe. and it's what we need to do if we're serious about removing government obstacles that stand in the way of a robust recovery and new jobs. reducing the debt will throw off a wet blanket that's been weighing on our economy for entirely too long. this is a serious challenge, and it demands serious spending reforms from both parties here in washington. yet, if you were to listen to the democrats, you would think all of our ills could be solved by raising taxes on private jets or energy companies. now, these aren't real solutions, mr. president. they are poll-tested gimmicks. just take the tax hike on so-called corporate jets.
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it wouldn't raise enough revenue to offset more than one week, one week of the decade-long sequester. one week. and, of course, any time you have a tax hike, there are going to be negative repercussions for growth and jobs. we don't have to look too far into the past to see just how destructive those consequences can be. in 1990, washington politicians tried to enact a -- quote -- "luxury tax" end quote on just about everything you could associate with the upper class, including yachts and aircraft. it was a total failure. not only was it linked to the destruction of literally thousands of jobs in the boating industry, but according to one study, the government actually -- listen to this -- spent more in unemployment benefits and in lost taxes than it was able to raise through the luxury tax itself. in other words, while the tax
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may have seemed to serve as a useful wedge issue for democrat politicians, it made just about everyone worse off than they were before it passed. workers, consumers, taxpayers and the government were all worse off. that's why a number of members of today's senate, today's senate democratic caucus voted to repeal that particular tax a few years later in 1993. they even agreed to send refund checks to some of those impacted by it. so while they are proposing to go down this same, sorry road one more time. well, in a variation of the old saying, you can conclude that they don't want the facts to get in the way of a good political talking point. but the larger point is this -- the challenge we face right now is the fact that government spending is completely and totally out of control. so a focus on a tax of any kind is to miss the point entirely.
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the amount of revenue we bring in as a percentage of g.d.p. is set to return to the historical average of the past few decades. spending, on the other hand, is way, way above historic norms, and it's spending that is projected to get -- actually get much, much worse in the years to come, that is, unless we do something about it today. the american people elected a divided government. they expect it to work. that means both parties need to engage and offer serious solutions, and proposing a return to failed tax gimmicks of the past is not by any measure a serious solution. if white house officials want to replace the same sequester that they themselves proposed in 2011, it's their responsibility to lay out what concrete spending cuts they would be
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willing to consider as potential offsets, as house republicans already have. if they do, then we republicans are happy to hear them out and to work collaboratively on effective reforms, but if this is just another opportunity to trot out the democrat focus group-approved policy stunt, if this is another fake fight designed by the white house to push us to the brink, then republicans are really not interested in playing along. we're going to keep fighting for real spending reform because that's what the american people expect us to do. every day spent talking about corporate jets is a day wasted, and given that the president again missed the deadline to submit a budget on time this year, there is not much time to spare. the clock is ticking. it's past time to get serious. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the
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previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business until 5:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. a senator: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. roberts: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. roberts: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call -- that we be recognized to proceed under morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. roberts: i thank the president. mr. president, i rise today to pay tribute to a most remarkable woman. in just a few hours, a celebration of life service will be held at st. andrew's church in kansas city for adell hall,
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described by the "can cit "kansy star" in a front-page headline as the "first lady of kansas city." adell was in hawaii with her husband, don hall, chairman of hallmark cards, when she passed away. to say they were a remarkable couple is an understatement. they met when she was three years old. and don was six. adell said, i don't ever remember falling in love with don. i just grew up being in love with him. as "the star" reported, her priorities were always with her husband and her three children. in addition to her love and caring for her family, adele hall had a unique ability to lead, and lead she did. living a life of caring and contribution, making a difference and demonstrating to all whose lives that she touched
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and made better a wonderful example of honor and respect. adele's many accomplishments were almost legendary. she would demure from that description with her wonderful smile and give credit to others, but it was how she accomplished so much that serves as such a wonderful example and why she was so, so beloved. the friends of don and adele and those with whom she worked really describe her best. henry block, the founder of h&r block and a lifelong friend, said, "if there was ever a first lady of kansas city, it was adele. she was honored and respected by everybody. it is a major loss for our community." irv hawkaday, a former c.e.o. of hallmark and a friend of don and adele's close to 50 years, said,
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"she was like a magnetic sun whose constant warmth and magnetism just had a pull and people gravitated to her:to me, her most compelling quality of many was her empathy. they say that no one is indispensable -- that's true, in a way -- but adele comes about as close to being someone we can never, ever forget or replicate. irv hawkaday certainly captured adele as did steve howell. "we lost a great human being," he said. "her greatest passion was in the area of children. she believed passionately in the potential of every child. at children's mercy hospital, adele move nicely from rocking sick babies in the nurtsry to running board meetings and leading multimillion-dollar fund raise campaigns.
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one that was best known was with walt thomas. jack holden, the hospital board chairman said, "adele was quick to give others credit. she was always telling other people that they were the wind beneath her wings." perhaps her biggest collaboration effort was to bring the university of kansas and children's mercy today. early on she realized what that would mean for kansas citians. jim heater, president of the greater city chamber of commerce, described the news of adele's passing, which came in the middle of a monthly chamber board meeting. the entire room fell into stunned silence when it was announced. she was known and loved by virtually everyone around our board table, he said. "we observed a long moment of silence in her honor and memory." mary shaw, called "shawsie" branton, who was her copartner
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and close friend in one charitable and/or civic event after another, said of adele, "i have lost a close friend. she touched all of our lives and there was an aura around adele. how can i help? what can i do? how can i find a solution?" this is a great day of sorrow, said sarah roland, chairman of the nelson atkins board of trustees. jane chu, c.e.o. of the kaufman center for the performing arts said everything she did was about inspiring kansas cityans. she so believed in these projects because she so cared about this city. she cared about making it a great place to live. mr. president, one can clearly see by the many comments of adele's friends and leaders in kansas city, with regard to their sense of personal loss and expression of admiration and love and respect for the world of achievements adele
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accomplished, there is only one adele hall. in my case, mr. president, i was on the floor of this body last monday during a series of votes taking place when a cloakroom attendant gave me a message to call my office immediately. i did, and my chief of staff, jackie catrell, came over to the cloakroom and told me the news of adele's untimely passing. now there are certain people in life, where you feel you are just privileged to know them. people who make a difference, really nice people that give you a sense, certain sense of awe, people who really are not aware of their special and unique persona. adele had that certain something, a unique -- a unique charisma, comprised of a wonderful smile, charm and grace but also determination and ability of a leader. when she came into a room, those
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present knew things would get done. she always stood ready in friendship and support and love. unfortunately, given her strength and purpose, she was also the kind of person you might well take for granted. jack and i immediately called annie presley, our good friend and companion in arms with adele. annie and i couldn't say too much during that phone call, but i did find out, well, it is the end of an era. and it is. adele in addition to her civic and art works, had tremendous influence, serving as an advisor, friend and supporter to governors, congress members and city leaders. annie was right by her side in these endeavors. her passion for politics made both kansas and missouri a better place to live. her advice, her guidance and support were invaluable to so
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many. don and adele's kansas home was the setting for countless benefactor receptions. the list represents a who's who in politics from both presidents bush, senators bob dole, kit bond, nancy kassebaum and, yes, somebody by the name of pat roberts. my friendship with don and adele began more than 20 years ago. i admit i was a bit nervous the first time i was invited to their home. i arrived early, and adele warmly greeted me, welcomed me in. don took me into the study, and after some discussion we all ended up listening for -- i don't know why -- the andrews sisters until we were informed it was time to greet the other guests. i think don and i would have been there a lot longer if it was don's wishes. we have been great friends ever since, perhaps the highlight of our efforts together was when
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first lady laura bush came to can sarbgs and together we -- came to kansas and together we welcomed her to our great state. when i talk about adele's respect and her humility, i'm reminded of a story when president bush came to wichita on my behalf. the white house staff and security -- god bless them -- had names on the floor in the reception room. and those who were greeting the president had to stand on the right name. sounds like kindergarten. god knows what would have happened if you didn't stand on your right name. adele stood exactly as instructed on her name without any hesitation. i did not do that. i did -- i didn't follow orders quite as well, and i met with the president's vehicle and told him that our special guests were standing at attention at the appropriate spot, which amused the president greatly.
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the secret, of course, was that don and adele often stayed at the white house as guests of both president george h.w. bush and president george w. bush. when president bush came in the room, he asked, adele, are you standing on the right place? she replied quickly, why, mr. president -- george -- i'll stand wherever you want me to. that really produced a lot of laughs and prompted a big hug. mr. president, today's obligations here in the senate does -- or they do prevent me from attending the celebration of life service, but i am there in spirit. to don, don jr., and jill and david and laura, margaret and keith and adele's nine grandchildren, our thoughts and prayers are with you. i feel compelled to say that if all of the people in the kansas city area could be in attendance, those who loved
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adele or who have benefited from her many endeavors, the numbers would fill arrowhead stadium and then some. helen steiner writes, may well have summed up what adele would be telling us now. "when i must leave you for a little while, please go on bravely with a gallant smile. and for my sake and in my name, live on and do all things the same. spend not your life in empty days, but fill each waking hour in useful ways. reach out your hand in comfort and in cheer, and i in turn will comfort you and hold you dear." mr. president, the heavens are a little brighter now because they have a shining star in adele hall. i yield the floor, and upon careful study, i note the
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absence i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. coats: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from indiana. mr. coats: mr. president, i ask that the -- unanimous consent that the call of the quorum be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. coats: mr. president, i come to the senate floor today, as i have virtually every day since we've been back in session, to address what is perhaps the most critical question facing this nation: you how to rein in the out-of-control federal spending that threatens to bankrupt the country and saddle future general rawings with a burden -- generations with a burden of debt that will dramatically reduce the quality of their lives? yesterday morgue on abc's "this
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week," the american people need to understand that it's not as if we've done nothing for the debt." mr. president, argue that the american people do understand but what they disagree with is the majority leader's statement that we've done nothing for the debt. to reduce the debt that we are accumulating at a record rate. we all know that we are spending nearly $40,000 a second of taxpayer money. we no he that it's been -- we know that it's been now 1377 days since we have passed a budget in the united states senate -- or one has even been offered up by the democratic leadership. our debt continues to accumulate and now stands at $16.-- nearly $16.5 trillion. anybody who looks at that debt
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clock sees that the numbers are rotating faster than the eye can see. so, no, i don't agree. i don't think we've done much to address our debt. and rather than recognize the real problem of our debt, which is spending, the majority leader talked about the need for yet more taxes and yet higher revenues. for all the debate about making the wealthy pay more in order to pay down our debt, the fiscal cliff deal barely changed the nation's long-term fiscal outlook, particularly if spending continues on its present course. a report from the peterson foundation released this we can puts u.s. -- this week puts u.s. debt on to reach gross domestic product by 2040. many respected economists, economists not with a partisan issue to promote here, those that have looked a the this
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impartially, have said to us that historically, without exception, once a nation's debt reaches 90% of g.d.p., it becomes very damaging to the economy and something i believe we are experiencing now, the early phases of that. so 200% of g.d.p., if we stay on the present course will take this country down p. it'll take our economy down. it'll take our ability to provide needed and necessary functions of the federal government. the plain fact is that our debt is going to continue to spiral upwards until washington tackles its spending addiction. now the president and some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are claiming that in the last few years they've already cut the budget to the bone. these so-called savings they talk about are savings that are anticipated by drawdowns in
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afghanistan and iraq that are already set to wind down, so we can't just simply say, well, we've solved the problem here, because we are now going to take this money, which we anticipate we won't have to spend -- and, by the way you that assumes there will be no overseas contingent operations that will have to take place in the next ten years. if we low-income at what's happening around the world, if we look at the threats, to the instability that's happening around the world, it is hard to assume that he we need to need to spend -- that we won't need to spend any money over the years that's a direct threat to the united states. well, all of this basically says it's pretty hard to take seriously the suggestion by the majority leader and the president that we've done our job in cutting spending to refuse the debt -- to reduce the debt. now, if i were able to take the
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time and have the time to list the wasteful catalog of the duplicative spending and wasteful spending of the taxpayer dollars on this floor, i would use up the rest of the day and more. but let knee just mention a few examples that my colleague from oklahoma, senator coburn, who i think has done this body a great service and the american public a great service by delineating and outlining some of these unnecessary spending of taxpayer dollars, and giving us a route and a road map and a pathway to addressing you unneeded -- do addressing unneeded spending of taxpayer dollars, particularly at a time when we're having to borrow 40% or more in order to keep our government functioning. now, these are not just out of some right-wing organization sitting there triecious to embarrass the congress. these issues that -- this
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spending that senator cobump has listed, it comes out of official government reports. these have been documented by our own official national government agencies. $1.6 billion spent annually to maintain unneeded federal property. if it's unneeded, why do we have to main continue it year after year at the cost of $1.6 trillion? let's put a "for sale" sign oucp there and receive some revenue from these assets that are documented as being unneeded. another $1.6 billion spent by the federal government to provide free cell phone service. now, the congress has passed legislation for certain categories of low-income people to receive free cell phones. whether you're for that or against that, or voted for it or
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against it, whatever, what has been laid out here is the fact that many of these phones are going to people who don't qualify for this handout and hundreds of thousands of those go to people who already have at least one phone. offer somebody a free second phone, they're going to grab it. but do they need it? and does the taxpayer have to pay for it? $15 million of taxpayer money went to the i.r.s. for a public relations effort to try to improve its image with taxpayer. good luck with that p.r. program. i think we know where the -- where people stand regarding their opinion of the i.r.s. and is this really a necessary expenditure? the i.r.s. sent a prisoner who filed a bogus tax return a refund check for $327,456, and they even sent it to the correctional facility.
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you'd have thought somewhere along the line somebody would say, maybe we ought to look into this? hopefully we'll be able to get this one back, along with the $30,000 that was sent to the jail where a murderer collected $30,000 in claimed unemployment benefits. well, yes, he was unemployed. but that's not exactly what our unemployment system is designed to do. now, while we're going after that other $327,000, maybe we can collect this $30,000 on the way. every day, we hear of reports of food stamps being used to pay for beer, cigarettes, cell phone bills and even cars. that hardly needs to be mentioned because it's just something we have come to understand as a lot of misuse of those tax dollars. on and on it goes, and i could
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list more and more. senator coburn just the other day listed some duplicative programs that he thought well, maybe we don't need multiple numbers of these, maybe we can consolidate. we have 18 domestic food assistance programs, 45 separate job training programs, and i love this one, my personal favorite. more than 50 financial literacy programs provided by the federal government. the first question we need to ask is what does the federal government have to say about literacy? given our current financial situation. hopefully, they're using its own dysfunction as an example of what not to do. so these outrageous spending items and duplicative federal programs are not isolateed examples. just a few weeks ago, the treasury department issued its year-end report for fiscal 2012.
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one of the bombshells in this report that has received virtually no coverage or come meantary is the -- commentary is the estimate by the general accounting office that $108 billion was lost to improper payments by the federal government, $108 billion. and since over one-third of all federal spending wasn't even examined yet by the g.a.o., the total amount lost is going to be obviously much higher. and the fact that this escaped the notice of much of the media and many of my colleagues is very telling. unfortunately, we are getting so used to the notion of inefficient and wasteful federal spending, a government report verifying over $100 billion in waste, fraud and abuse doesn't even register. so when my colleagues come down to offer amendments and are voted down, amendments to offset spending for new programs such
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as disaster relief and a cacophony of rejection comes their way, that says how dare you even think about trying to offset this, you're taking money away from babies, children and mothers and essential functions of the federal government. and then you read -- start to read down the list of wasteful spending and duplicative programs and say you can't come up with a dime to offset needed expenses? and let me just say that we're not here to undermine or destroy the necessary function of running an efficient government, but the key word is efficient. we want to spend taxpayers' dollars in a way that taxpayers understand we're doing the best with their hard-earned dollars to spend it on essential programs. i have suggested the appropriations committee that
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each program that we appropriate money for be put through a system of what i call triage, that we ask each agency before they present their budget to us annually for the appropriations to pay for their expenses and distributions, that they first address this question. is this an essential function of the federal government, is this a function that we might like to do but can no longer arrested afford to do and separate that from those that we no longer need and never should have been put there in the first place? at a time when we are suffering from the plunge into deficit spending and debt, should we not at least apply some standards and some principles in terms of where and how we allocate funds that are sent to us by the taxpayer? i've asked each agency to do that. we haven't received any reports back. all we hear is from a number of
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voices around town, oh, no, we can't touch any of this. every dime that we spend is absolutely necessary. well, i think what senator coburn has done and begun to do and what i hope to do and also work with him and others is to identify some of those areas and literally ask the question to my colleagues and to the american people, do you think this is really an essential function of the federal government? is this something that maybe we would like to do but don't have the money to do or is this something that frankly has just not lived up to its promise, is wasting money, or is this something that never should have been passed in the first place? if we don't apply those principles to our future spending, we're going to continue down this road. now, we all know that the big three, social security, medicare and medicaid, have to be reformed to save the programs but have to be reformed because they are unsustainable in their current form, and i will be talking much more about that
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later, but what i do want to acknowledge here today is the fact that without getting to those programs, which we have to do if we're going to solve our long-term problem, we also need to seriously look at how we spend money on all the discretionary spending that comes before this particular body. and we have to look at those things that simply don't measure up in terms of a responsible way of handling our taxpayer revenues. so, mr. president, i'm going to continue coming to this floor, i'm going to continue to keep pointing out areas where i think we can save money and continuing to make the case that this congress has not begun to do the job that it needs to do in terms of dealing with our spending. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president?
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the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, last week, the senate passed legislation that had already been approved in the house that extended the debt ceiling until late this summer. it was the right thing to do. it was the right thing to extend the debt ceiling of our nation because it allows us to pay the bills that we have already incurred. there isn't one dime of new spending that's authorized under the legislation we approved. my only regret is that we didn't extend it for a longer period of time, giving greater certainty to the financial markets. for you see that if we were to ever violate the debt ceiling, the consequences would be that the taxpayers of this country would have to pay more for the obligations of our nation and interest costs. it would permanently damage the
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reputation of this nation as far as our ability to pay our bills. it would be counterproductive to everything we're trying to do to help the taxpayers of america. so it was the right thing for us to do to extend the debt ceiling, but we still have a lot more work we need to do. our current accumulation of debt is not sustainable. we can't continue to spend what we're spending today and collect what we're collecting today in revenue and sustain the fiscal integrity of the united states. we spend too much and we don't bring in enough revenue, and that is the issue that we need to address. it was not addressed in the debt ceiling. the debt ceiling should have been extended, but we need to now deal with the fundamental problem that our spending and revenues are not in line. now, we could talk about the cause of how we got here.
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we could talk about how the congress reduced tax revenues while we were at war, a policy that i spoke out against and voted against, but our responsibility is to figure out how we go from where we are today with budget deficits that are not sustainable to how we can bring our country into better fiscal balance. we need a balanced approach. we need an approach that looks at spending, looks at revenues, that acknowledges that job growth is first and foremost our objective. we have got to create more jobs in our economy. more people working, less people needing governmental services, more people paying tax revenues. all of that helps generate the growth in our economy. we have got to protect the middle class. the middle class has been particularly vulnerable during this slowdown in our economy
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that we're now recovering from. and it has to be real what we come up with. that means it really does deal with the deficit problems of this country and should be long term. i tell you, i think all of us are tired of these short-term extensions. they may avoid an immediate problem, but they don't give the type of predictability that is necessary for our economy to really take off and grow. if you're a person who is an investor, it's tough to invest if you don't know the ground rules, if you don't know what the federal budget is going to look like. how do you invest in expanding a plant to deal with anticipated federal needs when you don't know what the budget is going to be? how do you deal with the tax code of what you want to deal with maybe developing an energy company when you don't know what the tax provisions are going to be for that operation? we need to give predictability,
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therefore, long-term solutions are better, and, mr. president, it needs to be bipartisan, truly bipartisan. now, i was here on new year's eve at midnight, and i saw democrats and republicans come together in a true compromise that i think put the nation's interests first rather than our partisan interests. now, i would have liked to have seen us do things a lot different than that agreement, but it was bipartisan. we listened and we compromised in the best traditions of the united states congress. now, i would like to take us back about two years ago as we started to struggle with how we're going to deal with our fiscal problems, and president obama appointed the simpson-bowles commission, and we know a lot about that, and they made their recommendations. some of the recommendation specifics were pretty controversial. but i think the overall framework of the simpson-bowles recommendations, the amount of additional revenue we need to bring in, the types and
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parameters of the spending cuts, i think there was general national agreement that that was the framework that would allow us to move forward in the best interests of our economy. i point out, mr. president, that in the last congress, the democrats on the senate budget committee adopted that approach as our framework to move forward. so i think that's what we need to look at, but let me just make a couple points because i've listened to a lot of my colleagues come to the floor and talk about how we haven't made progress, that our deficits are too large. well, we have made progress, we have. we have gotten about halfway there. and simpson-bowles is somewhere between $4 trillion and $5 trillion of deficit reduction over a ten-year period. we're about halfway there. we have about $2.5 trillion that we have gotten done. we have gotten that done because we passed the budget control act and the budget control act put in lower caps on discretionary spending on the domestic side.
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they are now the law of the land. over a trillion dollars of deficit reduction was accomplished because of the budget control act. and we did another trillion dollars of deficit reduction on the new year's eve fiscal cliff agreements that brought in more revenue by making permanent the 39.6% tax rate for high-income taxpayers and bringing in some additional spending cuts. now, that's real. my colleagues say well, no, we still have these large deficits and they're larger than they were before, but if we didn't do the budget control act and we didn't do the fiscal cliff agreements, the deficits would be much higher. and again, using some common baseline like simpson-bowles did, we have done about half of what, if you agree on the framework of simpson-bowles, we need to do.
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well, we have to get more done. we're not there yet. the revenues of this country traditionally have been around 19% of our economy. that's what it traditionally has been. that's what it was under president clinton when we balanced the federal budget, balanced the federal budget. we actually had surpluses. and our economy was growing, job growth, moving in the right direction. well, our revenues have dipped to about 15% of our economy, so we're not anywhere near with as much revenue as we need in order to have a balanced approach that allows for job growth. and yes, our spending is too high, particularly on what we call the mandatory side. we agree with that. you look at our health care costs in this country, they are much higher than any other nation in the world, and we don't have the health results that would demonstrate why we're spending so much more. we need a more efficient system. that's why a lot of us supported
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the affordable care act because we see in it delivery system reform that will make our health care system more efficient, bring down the cost of hospital care by reducing readmissions, bring down the cost of hospital care by reducing hospital infection rates, bring down the cost of high-cost interventions by dealing with people with complicated multiissues in a much more managed way. using health technology more efficient. using preventive care to actually reduce health care costs. we know that early intervention saves lives, saves costs. and when you bring down the cost of health care, you bring down the cost of medicaid, you bring down the cost of medicare, and you help our budget get into better balance. and we also believe we can save money in the military. the baseline for military spending assumes the high level
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of military operations in afghanistan. well, our troops are coming home. and we can now i think safely assume that our active military needs will not be at the high levels it's been over the last decade. and that will save money. and i personally think we need to look at a brac-type process for our international military facilities, as we've used for our domestic military facilities. i think all that can save money. so what do we need to do? we need to get together, democrats and republicans, on a balanced approach. but, mr. president, we need to do it this month. this month of february. because on march 1, these automatic cuts known as sequestration take effect. now, mr. president, the automatic cuts were put in during the budget control act as a way to get us to act.
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none of us wanted to see across-the-board cuts to both our domestic and our military budgets. we didn't think that made a lot of sense. after all, some programs are more important than others and we should make the hard choices here. we shouldn't be using an across-the-board cut. so we need to come together, as i've already indicated there's areas in the -- in spending that i hope we could come together to make our system more efficient, particularly on the delivery of health care, that there are certain reductions we can make in the overseas contingency accounts in our military. on the revenue side, we have brought out where there are loopholes in our tax code, where there's shelters, we can do a better job. it's interesting, mr. president, that the top 1% of the taxpayers of this country receive 25% of
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the benefits on what's known as tax expenditures. now, i've heard my colleagues come to the floor talking about how we have to bring down the cost of spending. well, yes, we do spend through appropriation bills but we also spend through tax expenditures, provisions that we put in the tax code that give breaks to some, not all, of our constituents. and when you add up all those tax expenditures, they come to $1.2 trillion a year. that's what the tax expenditures come up to. that's larger than our entire discretionary spending. we're spending more through the tax code than we are through appropriation bills. and we can certainly find some savings in those tax expenditures where we can use that in a balanced approach to
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be able to avoid the across-the-board cuts and get our budget back into better balance. that's where we need to move as a congress and as a nation. it's important for us to take timely action. let me underscore that. we need to act in february. we don't want to go through the uncertainty of what sequestration means. let me tell you something, i talked to a lot of people who are business people who depend upon a federal contract. will that contract be let or not? they don't know. they don't know. we got -- we need to get predi predictability so that our economy can take off. what i hope is that we will all put our nation's fiscal interests, our country's interests ahead of any of our partisan objectives and that means listening to each other, democrats and republicans listening.
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my colleagues on the republican side of the aisle have made some good points in regards to mandatory spending. i think my colleagues on the democratic side of the aisle have made some very valid points about the need for revenues. i would hope that we would listen to each other, resolve our differences and put forward a proposal that brings our nation back to a stable fiscal future, allows us to create the type of jobs that we need by investment and fiscal prudence so that our economy can continue to lead the world. we need to act and we need to act in a responsible, balanced way, a bipartisan way, and in a timely way. with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor.
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ms. collins: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maine. ms. collins: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i wanted to be an original cosponsor of the bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the violence against women act. let me thank the two leaders of that important bill, senators leahy and crapo, for their work to ensure that the senate makes renewing this important law a high priority early in this congress. i also want to acknowledge the work of the many advocates who have delivered so strongly the message to congress and to the public that we must do more to prevent violence from occurring in our homes and in our communities.
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our law enforcement officers, counselors, social workers, health care professionals, public educators and community service providers are truly on the front lines of the efforts to help those who are the victims of violence and to help prevent violence from occurring in the first place. their advocacy on behalf of these victims has helped to make this bill a priority. i commend them all for the work that they are doing each and every day. mr. president, in my home state of maine, we are fortunate to have a very low crime rate. but law enforcement officials tell me that the two greatest areas of concern are domestic
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violence and drugs. often these two go hand in hand. in fact, a study by the university of southern maine's muskie school of public service in 2011, found that 65% of victims of crime in maine believe that the offender was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time. over the last decade, occurrences of domestic violence have resulted in nearly half of all homicides in my state. nearly half, mr. president, are the result of incidents of domestic violence. according to statistics from the maine department of public safety, there were 5,360 reported domestic assaults in
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the year 2011, nearly a 5% increase from the previous year. this equates to one domestic assault every hour and 38 minutes, and this is in a state wherwith a very low crime rate. nationally, 1-4 women and 1-7 men experience severe physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner. in addition, maine's ten-year average is 364 rapes per year. think about that. that is almost one rape per day in a state with a very low crime rate. and those are only the reported crimes. i suspect that the actual number is even higher.
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according to the maine coalition against sexual assault, an estimated 13,000 mainers will experience some form of sexual violence this year alone. currently, rape has the lowest reporting, arrest and prosecution rate of all violent crimes in the united states. and so i'm very pleased that this year's reauthorization bill also includes the provisions of the sexual assault forensic evidence registry, or "safer act," which was authored by our colleague, senator john cornyn. and i commend him for his leadership in that area and i'm pleased to be a cosponsor of his bill which unanimously passed in the last congress, in the senate, and has been incorporated into the violence
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against women act reauthorization. this bipartisan bill, the safer act, would authorize the attorney general to award grants to state and local governments to audit and reduce the backlog of untested rape kits. mr. president, i think you will share my shock and alarm at the number of these kits that is sitting in the possession of law enforcement agencies and that could contain d.n.a. evidence that would lead to prosecutions and help get rapists off the streets and yet have not been analyzed. the estimate is between 300,000 and 400,000 of these kits are just sitting in the possession
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of law enforcement agencies but have not been analyzed. that is totally unacceptable. mr. president, the reauthorization bill that we introduced last week would help ensure that maine and every other state has the necessary resources to support victims of violence and, whenever possible, to prevent violence from occurring in the first place. elizabeth saxel, the executive director of the maine coalition against sexual assault, recently wrote to me in support of the reauthorization of the violence against women act. she noted in her letter -- and i quote -- "that by reauthorizing and making significant
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improvements to these important programs, this legislation will help fulfill the critical unmet needs of victims of violence and expand protections to currently underprotected populations." and, mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent that her letter be printed in the record at the conclusion of my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. collins: mr. president, the violence against women act has made a significant difference in combating domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, through grants to state and local governments and nonprofit organizations. since it was first passed in 1994, the programs authorized under this law have provided state and local partners with
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more than $4.7 billion of assistance. this assistance helps to ensure that the victims of violence get the help they need to recover and has prevented incalculable suffering by stopping violent crimes before they happen. it is extremely important to pass this legislation, because all men and women -- and men are victims as well as women. in some ways the name of this law should be changed. but all women and men, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or disability deserve to be safe and protected from physical violence, and that's what this reauthorization would help to do.
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mr. president, finally let me say that this is not and never should be a partisan issue. violence, domestic assaults do not discriminate between republicans and democrats, independents and greens, or people who are not politically active at all. this is an equal opportunity crime that harms people regardless of their political affiliation, their profession, their location, their status in life. it is an issue that deserves bipartisan support. and i hope that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will come together and pass this important bill. i recognize that there may be
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some provisions of this bill which are controversial, but surely we can come together in support of the goal of this vital legislation. we can work out differences if not on the senate floor, then in conference with the house. but surely we can come together and reauthorize this law that has made such a difference to so many in our country. thank you, mr. president. mr. president, seeing no one seeking recognition, i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. corker: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee.
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mr. corker: i ask unanimous consent that we vitiate the quorum call, sir. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. corker: thank you very much. i appreciate it. mr. president, i'm here today to introduce the federal reserve mandate act of 2013 in an effort to begin returning our country to the right place in monetary policy. senator vitter is joining me in this effort. the objective of our bill is simple. our central bank, like other central banks around the world, should be focused on creating an environment of price stability. this should be the guiding principle of monetary policy decisions. mr. president, this is neither a radical nor a new idea. most economists argue that the proper role of the central bank is to serve as a lender of last resort in a time of crisis to supply payment distribution and clearing mechanisms, and to manage the monetary supply so that inflation stays in check. managing unemployment is a
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completely separate task and not appropriate for the blunt tools of monetary policy. that is why almost every developed country's central bank has as its mandate the maintenance of price stability. in other words, we are an outlier. now, this is not to say that a focus on price stability means that the fed is abandoning unemployment. in fact, just the opposite is true. monetary policy can and should create an environment where jobs can grow and thrive by giving the economy certainty that prices remain stable over the long term. mr. president, we have strayed a long way from traditional central bank actions. we have lost sight of the proper role of monetary policy in our economy. with roughly $3 trillion in assets -- and i think you know that by the end of this year proves -- year's projection
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we'll have $4 trillion, there is no question the fed has multiple rounds of quantative easing distortions. we have lost price signals from instruments like treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. it is likely, however, that we are doing more damage than just that. we may be creating asset bubbles elsewhere as money moves into investments that are risky. we are also punishing savers, purchasing assets to drive down rates forces pension funds and retirees to shift money into asset classes that may not be best for them. we are creating fed addicts to our markets. equity markets go through cycles where they become almost fed-obsessed. in these environments good news is bad for equity markets because it means left q.e. buying. meanwhile, bad economics news is good for markets because it means that more easy money is on the way.
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and now we rest the perils unwinding the policy. economists are beginning to discuss the likelihood that the fed will take significant losses on assets that it's purchased. we just had one of the fed governors in our office last week sharing with us that as we begin unwinding these balance sheets, it's very likely, as you can imagine, as interest rates go up and the fed begins to buy these -- to buy these securities, we're going to lose money on those assets. so it's likely that the fed is going to take significant losses on the assets purchased. since the fed is buying these bonds at record-low yields, they will likely sell them down the road at higher yields. i don't think there's anybody right now that disagrees with that probability. the effect of this is a permanent increase in monetary supply. this is an incredibly perverse situation that we have now
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locked ourselves into. mr. president, the unemployment mandate at the fed is not -- has not always existed. a lot of people believe it has. it was added with the passage of humphrey awe keupbs act -- of the humphrey-hawkins act in 1978. humphrey-hawkins was passed in a moment of self-congratulation, like a lot of things around here are passed. congress patted itself on the back for -- quote -- "ending unemployment." mr. president, obviously nothing could be further from the truth. the fed cannot end unemployment by printing money. a central bank should be tasked with maintaining price stability. we must return to this core principle. thank you, mr. president. this is the reason that we were offering this piece of legislation today. i notice the absence of a quorum and thank you for this time. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call: quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. mccain: i ask that further proceedings under the quorum call be suspended and i be allowed to address the senate as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. mccain: this past year, our national debt passed a staggering $16 trillion, more than $51,000 for every man, woman and child in america. and today several very serious
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fiscal matters that would seriously impact the department of defense and the u.s. defense industrial base, including budget sequestration, the debt limit, and disposition of a defense budget for fiscal year 2013 remain unresolved. underpinning all of these matters is the larger issue of why the culture of how the department of defense does business must change. while daunting, this question provides us with a valuable prism through which senator hagel's nomination, now pending consideration by the armed services committee, should be considered. by culture, i mean that the mind-set for years that has pervaded how the department of defense buys goods and services and manage its assets and resources without regard either to affordability or what our servicemen and women actually need to defend the nation. after years of developing
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initiatives intended to reform how the department does business, i'm convinced that the single-most effective agent of cultural change a the department is the right leadership, leadership that recognizes that the department host of the taxpayer, a stewardship obligation to extract maximum value for every defense dollar spent and a moral responsibility to the war fighter that these dollars are being spent wisely to effectively procure desired combat capability. we need strong fiscal leadership to reject the use or lose mentality that incentivizes managers of the departments programs and activities to spend every dollar, no matter what our priorities really are, and replace it with a process that actually rewards sound program management, incentivize efforts to cut costs and rewards those who use entrepreneurship and ingenuity to meet mission
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requirements while returning taxpayer funds to the u.s. treasury. in other words, cultural change needs leadership that only rejects business as usual but also challenges it. where senator hagel is on this is not clear. one area that reflects how desperately the department of defense needs to change its culture of inefficiency is how it procures goods and services, in particular how it acquires major weapon systems. while reforms in this area have been attempted for more than 25 years, the same deplorable outcomes, major cost overruns, schedule slips or failures to perform as promised, all those persist. why? it's because despite these efforts the underlying culture within the department of business as usual which
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predisposes its largest programs to these outcomes has been allowed to live on. and how the department procures its largest and most expensive weapon systems, this translates into a mindset that so fails to realize the need for affordability that it has made the department more willing than it should be to accept at any cost more risk than it can responsibly manage. there are far too many examples where the department begins a major program without knowing what it really wants or how these requirements should translate into technical specifications that are designed to generate the combat capability it really needs. also, all too many times, there is no traceability between these specifications through a test regime that is sufficient to ensure that the system the department is procuring is
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operationally effective, suitable and surviveable before entering operational testing or early production. so what happens? these systems stay on rails, blow through their original cost and schedule estimates, and at the end of the day bear little resemblance to what the war fighter actually needs. but program management fixated on keeping the money flowing pushed the program many times, reimbursing the contractor for its costs throughout and with the parochial support of members of this body down the development pipeline, offering excuses for poor performance and ultimately less than desired capability, and all of this happens within an overall management system. it's overly cumbersome and costly and provides for no meaningful accountability.
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in the aggregate, this has been a -- quote -- "perfect storm. a defense procurement culture that's content with promises of exquisite solutions over actual affordability has squandered literally bstles taxpayers' dollars. according to a recent study, since 2004, programs canceled by the army alone consume between $3.3 billion and $3.8 billion per year. that is 35% to 45% of the army's annual budget for development testing and engineering over this period. obviously, this is simply unacceptable and unsustainable, and yet it happened again just recently. a couple of months ago, the air force quite rightly decided to kill a huge logistics supply chain management business system
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called the expeditionary combat support system, ecss, but it did so only after, one, sinking about a billion dollars into the program since its start in 2005. two, recently finding that another $1.1 billion will be needed to fill just 25% of ecss's promised capability, and three, extracting from the taxpayers' total $1 billion investment less than $150 million in usable hardware and software. i repeat, a total $1 billion investment, less than $150 million was obtained in usable hardware and software. this is a travesty, and in terms of how little benefit we realize compared to how much was spent,
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one of the most egregious examples of mismanagement in recent memory. some reforms have helped, but much work needs to be done. the weapon systems acquisition reform act of 2009 and its prescription to -- quote -- "start programs off right" was a move in the right direction, and i'm pleased to report that in its last of three reports focused on how effectively the department has been implementing that act, the government accountability office recently found that the department has been taking positive steps to implement this reform act. and it did so having sampled 11 weapons acquisitions programs, including the ssb and ohio class ballistic missile submarine replacement and the ground combat vehicle. but getting rid of poor cost, schedule and performance outcomes and how the department
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procures goods and services will require the sustained and enduring change that only a change in culture can provide, and when it comes to defense procurement, a change in culture is possible only with leadership that recognizes that for government to act as a responsible steward over defense dollars, it must be as knowledgeable, skilled and sophisticated a buyer as industry is a seller. whether senator hagel would serve as the right leader at the department of defense to foster needed cultural changes in the department's procurement practices is unclear. what we do know is that the right person must embrace the following principles. set realistic requirements early and manage changes to those requirements aggressively. the department must inform better discipline and achieve greater accountability on how it meets its most critical military needs by dismantling stovepipes
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among the requirements, acquisition policy and budget communities and ensuring clear lines of authority within acquisition organizations. with the benefit of robust participation by the uniform military, requirements should be frozen early, allowing for sufficient trade space among the programs, cost schedule and performance variables to ensure that it is effectively managed throughout its lifestyle. exquisite high-risk, next-generation solutions should be spelled out over time. in other words, programs should be set to shorter acquisition timelines and should be managed to them. improve the department's ability to price risk effectively and independently of industry and budget to that cost. by risk, i mean risk that a system is exposed to throughout its life cycle technical
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software, development integration, manufacturing, sustainment risk, all of it. acquiring weapon systems thoroughly vis-a-vis risk would minimize funding instability which can absolutely decimate a program's ability to deliver required capability on budget and on time, and ultimately result in reliable systems that will be affordable to own and operate. revitalize and where necessary build up the department's organic work force in areas most vital to buying smart like cost estimating, technical and systems engineering, developmental testing, et cetera. the department must be able to conduct proper should cost analysis to perform its positions when it negotiates contracts and conducting engineering tradeoff analysis to manage programs effectively over their life cycles. with the benefit of this capability, the department will be able to more effectively
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target affordability and control cost growth. require the use of the type of contract that most appropriate to the level of risk to be managed and the fee structure that most appropriate to the type of performance to be incentivized. this, of course, requires the department to know what it really needs, and in connection with that requirement, exactly what kind of contractor performance it wants to incentivize. to the extent and as quickly as possible, the department must get its programs into a low- to moderate-risk environment where it can use fixed-price contracts to effectively incentivize cost control. better incentivized productivity and innovation, rationalize proficiency, and use contract-based and other tools in the tool kit to incentivize and reward contractors for
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effectively managing costs, successfully managing their supply chains, and indirect expenses and actually delivering promised capability. promote real competition instead of just checking the blocks. nothing drives costs down and enhances quality more effectively than competition. so the department has to make sure that competition, or the option of competition, is brought to bear on a program throughout its life cycle at both the systems and subsystems level. to the extent that the department has been recently successful with some of its large, high-profile procurements, it's because it's been able to leverage competition aggressively. improve how the department acquires services. military departments that have already started diving into this area have already found massive opportunities for savings and efficiency easily amounting to billions of dollars.
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this initiative should not only continue, it should expand throughout the defense enterprise. reform how the department procures information systems, especially major automated information systems. while the technical aspects of these products are, of course, fundamentally different from major weapons systems, the basic trade craft, especially those that reflect best business practices, shouldn't be that different. procuring cybersecurity capability may, however, require greater agility and flexibility than what can be provided under the long and slow, deliberative acquisition process. improve the rapid acquisitions process. in support of ongoing operations, the warfighter cannot rely on the deliberative acquisition process to satisfy its needs. the process by which these sorts of urgent operational requirements are satisfied
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reliably and cost-effectively needs to be reformed. rein in the department's ability to reprogram funds. i have been appalled that in fiscal year 2000 alone, the department of defense transferred nearly $27 billion among defense accounts and that only $11 billion, or 40% of these transfers, received any type of congressional oversight. i repeat, $11 billion, taxpayers' money, was transferred from one program to another without any type of congressional oversight. and that oversight was limited to just eight senators out of a hundred. the oversight of the transfer of billions of dollars is confined to the oversight of eight members of the united states senate. now, i happen to be one of them for the last six years, but i
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don't think it's appropriate to transfer that kind of money without all 100 senators be apprised of the need to do so. despite that, the department cannot be audited. the department of defense has never been audited. we continue to provide it with the flexibility to engage in what amounts to budget gamesmanship, where certain accounts, such as operation and maintenance, and base operations support, which are intended to satisfy must-pay bills, are historically underfunded in the president's annual budget request with the understanding that the department will be able to transfer funds between accounts down the road. in my view, this time of budget gamesmanship is a big reason why the department cannot annually produce auditable financial statements and frustrates objectively assessing the priority or urgency of the
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department's requirements. this brings me to the other major area of how the defense department does business that underscores the need for cultural reform. defense financial management. and the most significant thing that can be done in this area is finally getting the department auditable. there can be no doubt that the ability of the department to be audited independently would help ensure that defense dollars are not wasted, lost, or otherwise misused. absent audittability, the general accountability office, the g.a.o., has since 1995 designated the department's financial management as high risk. today's fiscal challenges bring new urgency to the issue of audittability at the department of defense. to navigate successfully through this period of austerity and fiscal uncertainty without
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inadvertently impinging on military readiness, the department will have to make management decisions that are fully informed and carefully calibrated. and to ensure intended results, the department has to make sure that these decisions are being executed as planned. from well-managed companies in the private sector, which have to make decisions like this all the time, we know that reliable financial data, effective internal controls, efficient business processes, and sound business systems are needed to support an organization whose finances can be audited. granted, the department won't use auditable financial statements themselves to make important management decisions, but the high quality of the financial information that feeds in to financial statements that are ready for audit would be incredibly valuable, indeed, indispensable, for identifying
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opportunities for savings and efficiency, successfully implementing initiatives and management controls to realize these savings and efficiencies, and making sure that increasingly scarce defense dollars are redirected to higher defense priorities. this would give the primary stakeholders in how the department is managed th, the warfighter and the taxpayer, confidence that defense management decisions can be relied on to produce intended results. given the state of financial management at the department of defense today, we do not now have that confidence. one big reason why we don't is that to date, the department's commitment to achieving financial audittability has been characterized by blown deadline after blown deadline. various statutes, including the financial -- chief financial officer's act of 1990, the
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government management reform act of 1994, the federal financial management improvement act of 1996, and other provisions in various defense authorization and appropriations acts, have required financial improvements at the department of defense or for the department to produce auditable financial statements. but after continuous failure, we are at a point now where, for example, the then-secretary of defense was trying to find efficiency and reduced waste at the department just a few years ago, he said that what he was doing was -- quote -- "something akin to an easter egg hunt." he explained -- and i quote -- "my staff and i learned that it was nearly impossible to get accurate information and answers to questions, such as "how much money do you spend 'and 'how many people do you have?'."
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aftefor this reason, after succeeding secretary gates, secretary panetta immediately elevated financial improvement to a top priority of the department by directing the department to cut in half the time to make a key financial statement, called the statement of budgetary resources, ready for audit. now, this goal must be achieved by fiscal year 2014. seeking to leverage secretary panetta's initiative, and with the assistance of senator ayotte, the senate armed services committee included a provision in its authorization bill this year that formalizes this goal. i'm pleased to say that while much work needs to be done for the department of defense to achieve its audit readiness goals, the department has made some limited progress, particularly through its financial improvement and audit readiness plan, which the senate armed services committee legislated as a requirement a
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few years ago and the house armed services committee panel on defense, financial management and audittability reform, found earlier this year it contained a "reasonable strategy and methodology." in my view, it is no longer the case that top defense managers just don't get it or that they're dragging their feet because they just don't see financial improvement as a priority. indeed, perhaps the silver lining in today's fiscal challenges, that it seems to have united top management at the pentagon into finally realizing how important it is for the department to become financially auditable. indeed, over the last few years, some agencies within the department, like the army corps of engineers, the military retirement fund, the defense contracting audit agency, and tricare's contract management activity, have received clean audit opinions. as g.a.o.'s director of
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financial management and assurance, asif kahn, recently said, "secretary panetta's directive as resulted in a -- quote -- "change in tone at the top that has reset the department's efforts to achieve an unqualified audit opinion." how would exactly senator hagel, if confirmed, further secretary panetta's efforts here? this is not an academic question. as the department of defense's deputy inspector for auditing, dan blair, recently noted, for the department to achieve an auditable statement of budgetary resources by 2014, it must run what amounts to -- quote -- "a big checking account, with thousands of people being able to wright checks. and that capturing an auditable universe within it will require reconciling between a general ledger and subsidiary ledgers. a big problem is ongoing delay in implementing very expensive
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computer systems called enterprise resource planning, or e.r.p.'s, which perform a number of business-related functions vital to transforming the department's business operations. the ecss system that i mentioned a few minutes ago is one of these e.r.p.'s. as of democra of december of 20e department of defense has invested over $5.8 billion in these e.r.p.'s and will invest billions more before they are fully implemented. but most of them are over budget and behind schedule or haven't provided promised capability. and yet these e.r.p.'s make up more than half of the department's entire expenditure in the area of business transformation, costing the taxpayers more than $1 billion
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per year. this is vitally important. if the department doesn't get e.r.p.'s, like the system known as ecss, that cost a billion dollars, right, not only will have the department squandered these moneys that it had already sunk into those -- these programs, but it will also severely undermine its ability to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the scores of business missions like logistics and supply chain management, et cetera, that are key to supporting those servicemen and women who defend the nation. so what needs to be done? from the top down, lines of authority must be clarified. the relevant work force must be well versed in government accounting practices and standards and experienced in related information technology. given how vitally important these e.r.p.'s are to this mission, people who have actual
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experience successfully implementing global business systems must be properly mixed into the work force. and contractors hired to integrate these business systems into the department must be the best qualified partners and held to the same high performance standards that should apply to any other major defense acquisition. within this overall structure, there must be sufficient oversight and accountability vis-a-vis a well defined inferred ated business enterprise architecture that ensures that in terms of organizational transformation and systems modernization, all the different elements of the department are moving in the same direction towards a single goal. and these kinds of issues need to have the day-to-day attention of department chief management officer -- that is, the deputy secretary of defense -- and the chief management officers within the military departments.
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at this point, i am of the view that with all of the congressional reforms and mandates in the area of financial improvement over the past few years, the department of defense has all the tools it needs to have in its tool kit to achieve audit readiness on time and on budget. the issue is leadership and execution. and as the house panel on financial management and audit tibility reform noted a vital part of that is to ensure leaders are held accountable when goals are not met and rewarded when goals are achieved. defense financial management must no longer be regarded as an activity important only to the department's financial community. field commanders have to be fully engaged and interested in driving change outside the
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pentagon if senator hagel is confirmed his setting the tone from the top will be vitally important. is all of this enormously challenging? it absolutely is. within an annual budget, equal to the 17th largest economy in the world, as the institute for defense analysis recently noted, the department's business of achieving its unique missions worldwide on an ongoing contingency basis equates more to an economy than a commercial business. be that as it may, with an annual federal budget deficit of $1.3 trillion and defense reductions of at least $487 billion and possibly with sequestration another $500 billion over the next ten years, the department needs to have
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reliable financial management data to help it distinguish between defense budget cuts that are prudent and necessary and those that may impinge on military readiness and, therefore, endanger our national security. only a department that can be audited can give us the assurance that the department is moving in the right direction in terms of identifying the right opportunities to save defense dollars and eliminate waste and redirecting increasingly scarce defense dollars to hire defense priorities. all that i have discussed today illustrates how important sound leadership at the top of the department of defense is to buying smarter and getting the department ready for audit. without leadership fundamentally an unalterably mindful of the department's responsibility to the american people to use defense dollars wisely, this
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cultural change will forever remain elusive. for this reason, this body's consideration of the president's nominee to serve as the next secretary of defense will be more important than it has been in recent memory. and i would like to give credit to the present secretary of defense, secretary panetta who brought his knowledge and expertise on budget manners in his work here at the pentagon. and i will say more about his later on. but i'm very appreciative of the outstanding service that present secretary of defense panetta has provided to this nation, many long years of service both in elected as well as appointed office. we are proud to have americans such as secretary panetta serving our nation. mr. president, i yield the floor.
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mr. grassley: thank you, mr. president. i'm glad that the senate is now having some discussion among members not yet on the floor about the issue of immigration, because it's a very important problem that we have to deal with. so i look forward to the debate that i think is coming up this year on immigration, and i would share my thoughts and my past experiences on this issue. i particularly want to share my
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personal experience from the 1980's amnesty law and what we can learn from that debate. but before i go into that history, i want to commend many senators that are working together to forge a consensus and produce a product on this terribly difficult issue. i commend them for sitting down and agreeing to a set of principles that were put forth in a news conference last week. as ranking member of the judiciary committee, i expect to play a role in brokering an even broader consensus with additional members. i've read the bipartisan framework for immigration reform that this group has written, and the one thing that struck me is a sentence -- in fact the last sentence in the preamble. it states -- quote -- "we will ensure that this is a successful
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permanent reform to our immigration system that will not need to be revisited." end of quote. in other words, the group understands that we need a long-term solution to the problem. we need a serious fix so that future generations don't have to deal with 11 million or 15 million or 30 million people who have come here illegally. that sentence is the most important part of the document and we must not lose sight of the goal expressed by the eight senators who enunciated that. but we need to learn from our previous mistakes so that we truly don't have to revisit the problem. so let's discuss the 1986 amnesty under president reagan. and there are few of us in the united states senate that were present during that debate. in 1980, president reagan campaigned on a promise that he
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would work to reform our immigration laws and legalize foreign workers in the united states. the president's policies were further shaped by the select commission on immigration and refugee policy that was created in 1978 under president carter. president reagan signed a bill into law on november 6, 1986. so six years after he first ran for president, he signed a law. this law was known as the immigration reform and control act. the process to finalize a bill was long and arduous. it took years; six years to be exact. in 1981, when i was a freshman senator, i joined the judiciary committee, and i was a me of the subcommittee on -- and i was a member of the subcommittee on immigration and refugee policy. back then subcommittees did real work.
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they actually sat down and wrote legislation. we had 100 hours of hearings and 300 witnesses before we marked up a bill in may 1982, a markup four years before the president had ever signed it. senator simpson chaired the subcommittee, and other members included senators thurmond, kennedy and deconcini. senator thurmond was called to the white house and senator deconcini has been just hospitalized. so senator simpson and senator kennedy and i brought up amendments, and we actually voted on them. senator kennedy on that day said -- quote -- "immigration reform is one of the most complicated and difficult issues. it involves human beings. it involves families. it involves loved ones, children and the separation of those individuals." end of quote. his words would still resonate today. in 1982, i told my colleagues on
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the judiciary committee that i want to do the right thing for the united states, and that is what this senator from iowa said at that time, quoting myself: "the real issue here is what is best for the united states citizens. i try to maintain that perspective. i've come to the conclusion through a course of attending many hearings on this issue that increased border and interior enforcement along with employer sanctions and secure worker eligibility identity system is necessary to regain control of our borders." end of quote. this is a philosophy that continues to guide me on this issue of immigration yet today. but i expressed my concern with the legalization component at the time. i echoed the recommendations of the select committee on immigration. that commission said a legalization should, one, be consistent with u.s. interests. and, two, the program should not
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encourage further undocumented migration. the commission believed that a legalization program should not begin until new enforcement measures have been instituted. the commission knew then, as i did and as i know now, that -- quote -- "without more effective enforcement, legalization could serve as a stimulus to further illegal entry." end of quote. those are the words of the commission. you see, i didn't think permanent residency should be granted until we had a worker eligibility system. i offered an amendment on that point in 1982, but that amendment failed. the judiciary committee and the full senate passed a bill in 1982, but it did not pass the house of representatives. we tried again in the next congress. the senate passed a bill in 1983 and the house followed in 1984.
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we convened a conference committee between the house and the senate. but walter mondale came out opposed. so we adjourned for the elections and failed to finalize a bill that year, two years before president reagan finally signed a bill. we returned in 1985 to pass our bill again. this year senator simpson included a provision to trigger the amnesty program only after enforcement measures to curtail illegal immigration were in place. doesn't that sound familiar? congress passed a final bill november 1986. the vote in the senate was 63-24. and the house vote was 238-173. over the years many members offered amendments to water down the enforcement provision in the simpson my -- ma -- in the
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simpson-mizzouli act in 1986. there was a lot of opposition to employer sanctions, especially by senator kennedy. he wanted, in his words -- quote -- "criminal penalties to be based only upon injunctive finding of a pattern or practice ." he tried to sunset the employer sanction. senator kennedy also fought hard to move the legalization cutoff date from 1980 to 1982 so that more people could benefit from the amnesty. the 1986 bill was supposed to be a three-legged stool. control of illegal immigration, the first leg. the second leg, legalization program. and the third leg, reform of legal immigration. we authorized $422 million to carry out the requirements of
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the immigration reform act and created a special fund for states to reimburse their costs. the 1986 bill included a legalization program for two categories of people: one, for individuals who have been present in the united states since 1982. and the second for farm workers who had worked in agriculture for at least 90 days prior to enactment. a total of 2.7 million people were given amnesty. we also had enforcement for the first time ever, we made it illegal to knowingly hire or employ someone here illegally. we set penalties to deter the hiring of people here illegally. we wrote in the bill that -- quote -- "one essential element of immigration control is an increase in the border patrol and other inspection in
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enforcement activities of the immigration and naturalization service in order to prevent and deter the illegal entry of aliens into the united states and the violation of the terms of their entry." end of quote. so let me again repeat one of the principles that the gang of eight included in their framework enunciated last week. quote -- "we will ensure that this is a successful permanent reform to our immigration system that will not need to be revisited. unfortunately, the same principle from 1986 -- the same principles from 1986 are being discussed today. legalized now, enforced later. but it's clear that philosophy doesn't work. proponents of amnesty today argue that we didn't get it right in 1986.
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i agree that the enforcement mechanism in 1986 could have been stronger. that's why they need to be strong this time around. but i'm already concerned that some will attempt to water down the principles that have been put forth on enforcement measures. president obama doesn't seem to favor triggers. the senior s -- the senior senator from new york said just last week that border security wasn't going to stop legalization. he said, "we're not using border security as an excuse or a block to the path of citizenship." advocacy groups are already talking about ensuring that border security commission doesn't stand in the way or have veto authority over legalization programs. one theme from 1986 that's shining through today -- some say we need to legalize the
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millions of people that are already in the united states soil. they say we need to bring them out of the shadows. give them a chance at u.s. citizenship. they imply, this would be a one-time deal because we'd get it right this time, like we thought we got it right in 1986, but we didn't get it right in 1986ment so in the 1980's, senator simpson was convinced that what we did then would be a permanent solution to our immigration problems. we stated -- quote -- "we are attempting to assure that this is a one-time-only program. the purpose of legalization is not to reward -- award or reward or include the largest number of persons available. it is to bring forward into legal status those most deeply entrenched in a society they would be least likely to return home to when the job opportunities no longer are
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available." end of quote. senator simpson said that a one-time amnesty would prevent us from a continuing series of amnesties. he stated that, quote, "the major reason for legalization is to eliminate an illegal subclass within our society. this is the legislation that will eliminate this exploitable group. some people like to say that they hope it will clean the slate. that is what we're trying to do, clean the slate." well, those are good intentions by senator simpson. but, as i said, they haven't worked obviously. and it is an admonition to those who want to do it up right once and for all to listen from the mistakes -- to learn from the mistakes of 1986. senator simpson also said, quote, "the american people in my mind will never accept a
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legalization program unless they can be assured this is a one-shot deal and that this is it; this is a one-time occurrence. and the policy-makers in this country are not going to allow it to happen again and will prevent the situation which gave rise to it." end of quote. well, you can see, as smart as senator simpson is, and he is a smart person and still is a smart person -- i like to see him on television, particularly when he is talking about why the president of the united states didn't back the simpson-bowles commission on budget reform and fiscal reform. but, any way, here is a person that worked six years to do it right, never have to visit again when we had 3 million people that had come here illegally,viting our laws, get it fix once and for all and thought he did. but i think now he would add
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mid-- and i have to admit because i was on the subcommittee -- we didn't get it right. but i voted for all that stuff. and so now, as i'm looking at a group of eight trying to say in the preamble of their working paper, we're going to fix this up once and for all, well, you better check out that it's not very easy to do thargs and you better -- t to do that, and you better do it better than we did. the i.n.s. commissioner at the time, alan nelson, told the committee that the legalization program was -- quote -- "realistic and humane." end of quote. and further, "it is clear that this is meant to be a one-time proposal not intended to recur." in 1986 the committee report said that, quote, "the solution lies in legalizing the status of aliens who have been present in the united states for several years you recognizin, recognizit
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failures to enforce the immigration laws have allowed it emto enter and settle here." also according to the report, the committee "^stropbgly believes that a one-time legalization program is a necessary part of an effective enforcement program and that a generous program is an essential part of any immigration reform legislation." in 1986, the congress passed the immigration reform and control act. at the time, president reagan hailed it as the most comprehensive reform of our immigration laws since 1952. he stated that the legislation was a major step towards meeting the challenge to our sovereignty while at the same time preserving and enhangs the nation's heritage of legal immigration, a heritage we all ought to be proud of. well, congress, the public, and the president did not envision or did not want was another
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amnesty debate. the american people were told in 1986 that this would be a one-time shot. the incentive to buy into the argument was a promise of enforcement. in 1985 senator si simpson said, "if legalization should occur before more effective enforcement is available, the he illegal population is only going to grow very swiftly again and that will create pressures for additional legalization and it will not be a one-time only legalization. it will be a continuing series." many believe that employer sanctions were the only way to curtail illegal immigration. one committee report stated that, "unless employer sanctions are enacted, the committee is concerned that the situation will continue to worsen." in 1985, senator metzenbaum of
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ohio said, "when push comes to shove, there's ole one real -- there's only one realistic way that you can stop illegal i ammigration in this country and that is by making it illegal and being tough enough that illegal immigrants cannot work in this country." knowing what we know now, an immigration reform birl must include tough enforcement measures. we must stop flow at the border. we must extend and enhance legal avenues so that people are not coming here illegally. we must have a strong employment verification program. unfortunately, we aren't enforcing the laws we have on the books today. the american people don't trust that we will enforce these laws in the future. we provided amnesty overnight in 1986 and didn't fulfill the other parts of the equatio equa-
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border security, enforcement measures, and legal immigration reform need to be the first things on the agenda in 2013. i chose to talk about this topic today because i believe that we can learn from the past. we can learn from our mistakes. this isn't just about history. it's about our future. today people in foreign lands want to be part of this great nation. we should feel privileged that people love our country and want to be americans. we must take -- make sure that the decisions we make with regard to our immigration policies follow our long-standing ideals. we want to welcome new americans. we need to live by the rules we set. we cannot let our welcome mat be trampled on or our system of laws be undermined.
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let me end by echoing the words of president reagan. quote -- "substantial is not discourage i will eedisdiscoural aimmigration from all over the globe. the problem of illegal immigration should not therefore be seen as a problem between the united states and its neighbors. our objective is only to establish a reasonable, fair, orderly, and secure system of immigration into this country and not to discriminate in any way against particular nations or people. future generations of americans will be thankful for our efforts to humanely regain control of our borders and thereby preserve the value of one of the most sacred possessions of our people: american citizenship." end of quote by ronald reagan. my hope is that we will preserve
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the value of american citizenship as president reagan said. the path we take today will shape our country for years to come. it's my hope that we can find a solution while listening from our mistakes -- or learning from our mistakes. and ensuring that future generations don't have to revisit this problem down the road. i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a earl quovmen q. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. crapo: mr. president, i ask that the quorum call be lifted.
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the presiding officer: without objection. mr. crapo: thank you. thank you very much, mr. president. i appreciate the opportunity to be here today to highlight my support for a program that is improving life in idaho and across the nation. the violence against women act. i appreciate joining my colleague, senator leahy, who will be here on the floor in a few minutes to formally open the debate on this legislation, and i hope that we are going to be able to get this over the finish line this year, as it's so crit critical -- critical to so many people in this country. for nearly two decades, the violence against women act has been the centerpiece of our nation's commitment to ending domestic violence, dating, and sexual violence. the idaho coalition against sexual and com domestic violence uses vawa funds to promote the awareness of healthy relationships in middle and high schools in idaho. it is heartening to hear that the number of idaho high school students reporting that they have experienced dating violence has dropped from -- by 5% from
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2007 to 2011. however, i'm sad to report that since just january 1 of this year, four deaths have occurred in my state from the result of domestic violence. and even one is too many. these tragic events serve as a reminder that we'll we are improving, we are far from ending this abuse. i believe that while we're improving, we can and will do better. i stand behind this act as it provides critical services to victims of violent crime as well as agencies and organizations which provide important aid to those who are often victims in their own homes. this legislation provides access to legal and social services for survivors, it provides training for law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, attorneys, and